An early start with a pre-sunrise arrival in the forest at Great Hockham. Walking along the trails to the fen, I encountered 3 calling Tawny Owls (2 males/1 female) in pine woodland.
At the fen, several bird species were stiring from their roost sites, these included Crossbill, Siskins, and Redpoll. A lone Common Buzzard was sitting high in one of the trees on the fen.
With the rising sun, the mixed woodland along the edge of the fen came alive with a largish mixed flock of Long-tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Coal Tits, Treecreeper, and a number of Goldcrests moving through thick scrubby habitat and mature woodland in their collective search for food. Whilst watching these birds, a single Crossbill (male) passed over low enough for me to see its reddish plumage.
A welcome record for the fen was a calling Water Rail, this bird was hidden away somewhere within the boggy, rushy habitat where it will eke out a living winding its way through dense grasses and reeds in search for food. The call of this bird is a strange pig-like squeal.
|Greenfinch 26/10/13 Watton|
Continuing along Fairstead Lane, a male Sparrowhawk flew low over the lane in the hope of surprising unsuspecting prey.
Just beyond 'The Fairstead' at the top of Green Lane, a flock of 60+ Fieldfares flew into treetops, these large Thrushes were accompanied by a few Redwings.
Along Green Lane, I stopped for a while to overview the large area of rolling farmland in the hope of seeing a passing Harrier species, it was in fact fairly quiet until a large female Sparrowhawk circled above stubble where it had moments before disturbed some Partridges.
Finally, back at Little Cressingham Mill, a small flock of 6 Redwings rose from Alders alongside Watton Brook.