Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Water Rail at Thompson Water, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Little Cressingham, Norfolk.

A thoroughly miserable morning with leaden skies and persistent rain was followed in the afternoon with brighter conditions, although the wind remained quite strong.
Late afternoon and I decided to drop into the area around Little Cressingham Mill, as soon as I arrived it was apparent that there was lots of young birds noisily begging for food in the trees and bushes around the water.
Probably the most visible and audible birds was a family party of Great Tits - several juvenile birds were seen in lower branches begging and being fed by the adult birds whilst close by a family party of Wrens generally kept to lower cover in dense nettlebeds, again, the young were fed by the ever attentive parents.
Great Spotted Woodpecker (juvenile) 22/06/13
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers flew into an Ash tree by the mill including this very attractive juvenile bird.  Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers are easily separated from the adult birds by the red cap and pale red under-tail coverts.

Spotted Flycatchers are a declining species, however, this locality generally holds a pair.  Frustratingly, I could not locate Spotted Flycatchers visually but I could hear them calling.

Whilst sitting on a wall looking downstream, a single Grey Wagtail briefly put in an appearance when it alighted on a log in the water, however, it flew off almost as soon as it arrived.  This is a good record as its presence indicates probable breeding somewhere in the valley.
Other common species seen in this area included Goldfinches, Robin (1), House Martins flying around the cottage, and a pair of Swallows flying in and out of the wheel house.
A single Common Buzzard was seen high overhead where it hung briefly 'kite-like' whilst facing into the strong wind.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Reed Warbler at 'The Arms' Little Cressingham. A very late spring migrant.

An early morning walk with my dog Toby near 'The Arms', Little Cressingham, produced a singing Reed Warbler in a roadside hedgerow, a habitat where this species is not generally encountered at this time of year. 
Reed Warblers generally arrive in Norfolk in the latter half of April and into May, with some continuing to pass through in the early part of June.  The presence of this Reed Warbler today demonstrates the prolonged period of passage this species undertakes in spring and I would say that this bird was at the extreme end of this movement. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Stone Curlews

I was recently contacted by a representative from the RSPB, an organisation I formerly belonged to until a couple of years ago, asking me to withdraw from my blog any references to Stone Curlew observation, this I shall comply with. Any entries made about that species were always from observations made from locations accessable to the public and at no time did I ever trespass to see the bird, and indeed I would not expect any other people to trespass whatever their interest.
I have noticed on 'facebook' that photographs of rare breeding birds have appeared along with locations given, one such species being Dartford Warbler, I wonder if other individuals who clearly care about their passion, have been challenged as I have.
To my followers who care about birds, I am sorry that I cannot share my experiences with you on certain species, however, if we meet, I am sure we can discuss sensibly about our passion......if freedom of speech is still exists....without endangering the birds we love and care for.