Breckland Birder

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

Friday, 4 April 2014

First Willow Warbler of the year and an impressive gathering of Fieldfare

Today dawned murky, misty, and very grey, and that's the way it remained for much of the day.  Visibility was therefore quite poor with low light.
An early morning walk along Common Lane, Ashill, produced a couple of singing Blackcaps and 3+ Chiffchaffs.  At the disused rail cutting at least 3 Blackbirds and a number of Linnets were present.
I then checked a large, young plantation with a scrub understorey and heard this mornings predicted bird, a singing male Willow Warbler, my first returning bird of this year.

Little Cressingham
At mid-day I took Toby for a walk north along the Great Cressingham road from 'The Arms'.  Upon approaching Watton Brook I became aware of chattering Fieldfares in the trees by the barn.
Fieldfare at Little Cressingham 04/04/14
As I walked past the woodland, lots of Fieldfares dropped from the trees to the pasture to the west.  Once in position I was able to estimate a flock of 1500+ Fieldfare ranging between Bodney (Bodney Slip) and the Hopton Farm area.  Many of these Fieldfares appeared quite confident and returned to the trees around me, however, on one occasion the whole flock appeared to have been disturbed and flew just above and to the side of me, as these hundreds of Fieldfare passed by me there was a continuous "whooosh" of wings...an incredible sound and experience.
Walking back along the road towards 'The Arms', a singing male Blackcap was in the wooded pit, careful looking in the trees and shrubbery eventually produced a glimpse of the bird in song within a tangle of branches.
Also at this locality, a few Redwings flew from cover of trees within the pit.  

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