Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Business of Breeding

A very early morning dog walk around Merton and Thompson produced at least 20 singing Blackcaps, 3 or 4 Whitethroat, and 1 Lesser Whitethroat.  A Willow Warbler singing at Low Common, Thompson, must be the same bird which held territory in 2012, he was recognisable by his strange song.  This Willow Warblers song starts off with a mimic of the Chiffchaff song before finally entering into his familar, sweet, cascading voice.  To think that this Willow Warbler held territory here in 2012, flew to West Africa for the winter, and made it back here to secure his home this year, just amazing.

My wife Pam and myself took ourselves for a picnic at the windmill at Little Cressingham, here we witnessed several species engaging in either singing and/or collecting material for the nest.
2 pairs of Whitethroats were noted in the immediate vicinity, both males were singing, also one male was seen collecting fine strands of plant fibre for the nest.        

Sedge Warbler at Little Cressingham Mill - (photographed May 2012)

A Sedge Warbler gave its hurried song within dense riverside herbage. This bird was generally hidden today, however, they are otherwise quite conspicuous songsters.
2 singing Wrens seen again, this included one bird carrying a feather for the nest which was bigger then itself.
A pair of Swallows were once again visiting the wheel house next to the mill, a traditional breeding locality for this migrant. Also, a few House Martins were present as well as a couple of high Swifts.
A male Reed Bunting was seen clambering about in a waterside Elder, he was distinctive at range with his Black head and bib which contrasted with his white underparts.
Common species seen in the area included a pair of Goldfinches, a pair of Chaffinches, one Greenfinch, and a singing Goldcrest in the lone larch by the millpond.
On the millpond, a number of noisy Greylag Geese and an equally noisy pair of Canada Geese were present.  Also, one Mute Swan was on the millpond (the other was probably on the nest), and a pair of Moorhens seen together.
On nearby fields, several Lapwings collectively seen on a number of occasions mobbing crow species, clearly evidence of breeding.  A pair of Stone Curlews were seen on a very stony area of a field which they have been defending against unwelcome intruders, again, behaviour indicating breeding. Their wailing call was heard on a couple of occasions.
Overhead, a pair of Common Buzzards drifted by and a pair of Stock Doves were often seen circling around together.
Hopefully, Spotted Flycatchers will be back at this locality soon, a favoured site for this increasingly scarce species.

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