Breckland Birder

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

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Little Cressingham, Norfolk.

Fairstead Lane, Green Lane, and the mill area.
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.
Further along the lane, 2 Kestrels seen together included one of the youngsters I recently photographed at the nest-site.
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.

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