Breckland Birder

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

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Merton, Garden notes, and Little Cressingham

A beautiful clear night gave way to a foggy dawn with low cloud persisting most of the morning. The afternoon was warm and sunny with a moderate north-westerly.
An early morning walk around Thompson and Merton produced a calling Tawny Owl along Broomhill.  With improving light, several Goldcrests started calling within woodland and along the periphery of the Merton Park estate 3 Green Sandpipers passed overhead.

Garden notes
Chiffchaff - One of at least 2 in the garden in fog 22/09/13.
Fog very much persisted throughout the morning but eventually gave way to low cloud and slowly brightening conditions.  With the early morning fog came thoughts of disorientated migrant birds and within minutes of stepping into the garden I heard Chiffchaff calling and as events unfolded at least 2 birds were present throughout much of the day.  Although visiting a number of bushes and trees, I noticed that the Chiffchaffs often made for a neighbouring gardens buddleia, presumably the Warblers were attracted to insect food there.
A number of Blackbirds of all age groups were in and out of the garden, these birds were seen to feed upon both Whitebeam (Sorbus), and Hawthorn berries.
As the morning progressed I noticed a light overhead southerly passage of Swallows and once the warm sunshine had broken through, 3 Common Buzzards passed high overhead.

Little Cressingham (Fairstead Lane, Green Lane, and the mill).
Mid afternoon and warm sunny conditions had developed.  Looking back from 'The Fairstead' towards 'The Nunneries', I could see a pair of Common Buzzards soaring above the woodland.  Nearby, at the exact same locality as 21/09, a male Reeve's Pheasant was again seen.
A single Blackcap was heard in a hedge on Fairstead Lane close to Watton Brook.

On the millpond at Little Cressingham mill was a single Little Grebe, 30+ Mallard, 1 Mute Swan, and 3 Moorhens.  A Bullfinch was heard as was a calling Little Owl.
Insects seen at the millpond included Emperor and Ruddy Darter Dragonflies.

Noticeable absences around Mill Cottage and the surrounding area was House Martin, all appeared to have departed now for their southerly passage, additionally, Whitethroats are now conspicuous by their absence, any seen now are likely to be migrants passing through from their European breeding grounds.

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