Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Monday, 12 August 2013

Houghton-on-the-Hill, Norfolk.

From August through to November, Houghton-on-the-Hill is one of my most frequented areas for birding.  The elevation of this site, the wide vista and habitat, makes this a superb visible migration watchpoint. This area has a rich variety of fruit-rich hedges and bushes, I noticed this morning that the Elder crop looks particularly heavy and come September, migrant birds will make good use of this crop when stopping off to refuel.
It was evident this morning that there was several Whitethroats in Elder and Hawthorn habitat on Houghton Common, and although the fruit is yet to ripen, insects should abound as a food source. The Whitethroats seen were females and juveniles, these appeared particularly clean and fresh looking.
The hedgerow corridor running east to west from the church is also heavy in unripened fruit and again played host to Whitethroats, ChiffchaffGreat Tit, and Yellowhammers.
The woodland alongside the track to the church was at times quite busy with Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs, Chaffinches, Wrens, Coal Tit, and Blackbird.

Goldcrest at Houghton-on-the-Hill 12/08/13
The above Goldcrest was seen in dense mixed woodland habitat close to the church, although it typically frequented conifers for the majority of the time where it was incessantly on the go, searching for small insect and spider prey amongst the pine needles.
Chiffchaff was seen in the same habitat as the Goldcrest and was also actively searching for food amongst the branches and pine needles.  Occasionally, the Chiffchaff would hover at the end of a branch whilst searching for food.
Also seen and heard in the area of the church was Bullfinch and a noisy juvenile Common Buzzard.
With each passing day and week now, summer will soon give way to autumn and Houghton-on-the-Hill will once again play host to large numbers of resting and feeding migrants.....perhaps something much rarer might drop in one day.

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