Setting off from the bridge on Fairstead Lane at about 0700, I headed off towards 'The Fairstead'. The first field in the Watton Brook valley held a party of 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, their numbers comprised both adult and young birds. Also in the same field, 3 Oystercatchers (pair + one young) seen together feeding, the youngster appeared about half-grown. I suspect that these waders bred on a nearby stony field.
|Oystercatcher 24/07/13 Little Cressingham. One of a pair with one youngster.|
As I continued to walk along Fairstead Lane other birds seen or heard included a couple of Whitethroats and 2 pairs of Yellowhammers.
Walking along Green Lane, my dog, Toby, brought a smile to my face when he was confused by a trail of earth and grass moving across the path, his head was turning with his ears pricked in wonder as to what was happening, clearly, a Mole was just beneath the surface....could have been a contender for 'You've been framed'.
The mill area.
Lots of evidence of breeding successes seen in and around the beautiful site this morning included the ever-present House Martins visiting their nests in the nearby cottage.
A few Swallows seen over the mill-pond are utilizing this habitat for their search for insect prey over the water, it was also brilliant to watch their skill at taking a drink whilst skimming over the surface. On a couple of occasions, Swallows were seen to 'plop' into the water to bathe before flying off with a quick shake......fantastic stuff.
On the mill-pond, 2 female Mallards were tending to their broods, one of these broods numbered just 3 youngsters, others were probably predated, whilst the other bird had several recently hatched young with her.
A single Kingfisher put in a very brief appearance over the mill-pond and both Moorhen and Little Grebe seen on the water.
A pair of Goldfinches, including a singing male, and a singing Greenfinch occupied the dense waterside habitat alongside Watton Brook.
Calling Goldcrests were heard in the 2 Larch trees by the mill-pond, a habitat where this species was heard singing in spring, therefore it is probable that this little gem bred at this site.
I must brush up on my Damselflies and Dragonflies as several were seen here today, the most numerous was a very delicate blue couloured damselfly I believe to be Coenagrion puella.