Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Little Cressingham

An early morning dog walk along Fairstead Lane, Green Lane, ending with a brief visit to the windmill produced 6+ Whitethroat territories and at least 5 Yellowhammer territories.
It was encouraging to see good numbers of Lapwings defending their chosen territories against passing Corvids, clear evidence of breeding.
A pair of Stone Curlews seen on territory with one bird sitting motionless on the nest - calling was often heard.

At least 5 Common Buzzards were seen at 2 sites (2 Shorten's Covert and 3 The Nunneries), this species must now be one of the more common raptor species in Breckland.
Other raptor species seen included an overhead Sparrowhawk carrying prey and a Kestrel which attracted the attention of a mobbing Corvid species.

At Little Cressingham Water and Windmill, Whitethroats were again the most visual and vocal species. Once again, 2 males held territory in the immediate area of the mill.  I always delight at the fortitude of this lovely Sylvia Warbler as they constantly fly around their chosen 'patch' in an effort to secure it with rapid bursts of their loud scratchy song.  Unlike their close relative, the Lesser Whitethroat, the Whitethroat is an easy bird to watch given its conspicuous behaviour and song delivery.
Whitethroat (male) Little Cressingham Mill 14/05/13
Also in the Mill area was at least 2 singing Wrens, a singing Blackcap, Dunnock, Goldfinch, and a pair of Chaffinches which had enjoyed a bath in the nearby brook.
A few Swallows were present including the pair prospecting/nest building in the wheel house, however, House Martin numbers still appear to be on the low side at the moment.

This is the same male Whitethroat as the above bird, but on this occasion he has chosen a perch in front of me from which to sing from.  The female was usually nearby and would occasionally give a scolding alarm note whilst skulking in cover.  Not always visible in certain lights, this shot shows this bird to have a pale loral stripe (the line between the bill and the eye), whilst from other angles this feature may be difficult to pick out. This shows how light can play tricks on certain features of species identification.

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