Breckland Birder

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

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Little Cressingham (early afternoon)

Today saw 100% cloud cover, there was no sign of any sunshine and the light was mostly always poor.  A significant difference to the weather today was the easterly wind, a change from the prevailing south-westerlies which we have been used to for some time now.  The wind direction appeared to have an affect on movements of Starlings as you will see.
Buzzard at Little Cressingham 29/01/14
Starting at Watton Brook bridge on Fairstead Lane, this afternoon's walk took in Green Lane, Fairstead Lane, and the windmill at Little Cressingham.
Upon my arrival, this Common Buzzard was seen in the Watton Brook valley downstream from the bridge.  The abundance of the white in this bird makes this individual readily identifiable and he/she is a frequently seen bird in this area.  I think the markings on this Buzzard are stunning.
Continuing along Fairstead Lane, large number of Starlings were seen flying from one side of the road to the other, these, and a scattering of Fieldfares were seen feeding where Sugar Beet had recently been harvested.  The wet and recently disturbed land would have provided good feeding in the form of various invertebrates.
Walking along Green Lane I was intent on finding a roosting Tawny Owl, I did not find one however I flushed a Woodcock from edge of the path....a stunning cryptically coloured bird which blends in perfectly with its woodland floor habitat.
Once back on Fairstead Lane, I noticed someone approaching me from the Great Cressingham area, it was Mick Saunt, a fellow birder who I occasionally meet when out birding.  Mick and myself walked along Fairstead Lane towards Little Cressingham village, we discussed the interesting movement of good numbers of Starlings this afternoon.  With the wind briefly coming from the east before they move round again to the more familiar south-west, could these Starlings be part of a movement from europe to escape the colder weather there. A small flock of about 15 Lapwings passed over.  A quick check of fields produced a single Mute Swan in an area always susceptable to flooding.
Finally, a quick visit to Little Cressingham mill produced 2 Common Buzzards, 2 Grey Herons, Moorhen, calling Teal, and 2 Snipe which Mick picked up flying low having probably been disturbed by the Buzzards.
Good to see you again Mick and look forward to meeting you again soon.

3 comments:

  1. Paul...
    we seem to have the twin of this Buze Variable [Common Buzzard to you and me]...
    we call ours "Osprey"!
    Mainly because if it's sitting on a post like this...
    one tends to do a double-take!!
    Even when you know it's a Buzzard.

    We counted four pairs today in the three miles from the village back to ours.

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  2. Hi Tim
    Good to get your message again.
    This is certainly a gorgeous variation from 'normal' birds.
    A friend of mine had Rough-legged Buzzard on the patch yesterday.
    Are you enjoying mild weather....unseasonally mild here at the current time...no sign of any winter so far this year.

    Paul

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  3. Much the same here...
    I need to be doing tree work...
    but...
    it is TOO mild...
    they are all waking up!!

    We aren't getting half the normal run of birds...
    Bramblings, Siskins, etc., on the immediate patch...
    there is too much for them out in the wilds!

    Up to four young Reed Buntings and one of our Cirl Buntings show regularly across the meadow in the blackthorn patch that I've encouraged.
    Otherwise the usual suspects... G&B Tits, Goldfinks, Greenfinks and loadsa Chaffinks!!

    The nicest thing is the small "family" of Chiffchaffs who seem to think our end wall is the beesknees of restaurants...
    they understand glass...
    they pick flies off their side...
    and stand on the windowsill and look in...
    even if either of us are standing just the other side...
    Pauline reckons one was giving her the once over the other morning...
    kept looking up and down at her.

    And we saw one of our Water Voles yesterday... just working along the edge of the millstream outside the lounge window.

    Bid sad today tho'...
    our farmer neighbour, well his son who runs the business now...
    is trashing a nice bit of shrub corridor to enlarge his field!!
    Fortunately this is, at present, unlikely to happen at the other end of our meadow...

    As for the WET...
    I just published last months weather data on Aigronne Valley Wildlife...
    along with 2012/13s January figures....
    and compared them with the same years at the start of the 20th Century.
    Very similar with all the storms,etc...

    Currently we are experiencing the same winds as are just hitting East Angular...
    all I can say is... "Keep Ducking"... there are branches going everywhere.

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