Breckland Birder

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

Friday, 11 April 2014

Ashill (evidence of passage) and Little Cressingham, Norfolk

Ashill, Norfolk 0730-0845
I arrived on Common Lane to high cloud with a hint of brighter things to come from the north. The wind was a light to moderate northerly.
My intention this morning was to look for evidence of passage (departing migrants) and at 0750, one of my predicted species was seen.  3 Meadow Pipits passed almost directly over me calling and in a northerly heading, I continued to watch these migrants as they flew north until lost to view.  This is clear evidence of passage of a species which will be heading to their breeding grounds in upland Britain or Scandinavia, having spent the winter months either in lowland Britain or even further south on the Iberian peninsula.
Also noted along Common Lane was several Linnets and Yellowhammers and in the sky above, Skylarks sang.
Summer migrants on territory included singing Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, and a Willow Warbler.
Farmland east of the cutting held at least 3 Lapwings, this included a displaying bird performing its low level acrobatic stunts of lightning fast twists and turns.

Little Cressingham (afternoon)
With a temperature high of 14 degrees and a coolish northerly wind, it was lovely to sit out of the wind on the Peddars Way north of the village where the sun was quite warm on the back.
Leaving Little Cressingham on the Peddars Way, a pair of Common Buzzards soared high on thermals above 'The Nunneries'.
In the valley I took up position and sat for about an hour watching the beautiful well-wooded hedgerow which always attracts good numbers of birds.  This is an old hedgerow comprising Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Elder, Guelder Rose, Oak and Ash.  Today, a good variety of birds were seen with Finch species dominating.  At least 2 pairs of 'piping' Bullfinches were seen, also, many Goldfinches, Chaffinches, and Greenfinch, all occupied one well stocked length of old hedgerow.
Summer visitors in this habitat included 2 singing male Blackcaps, a single Chiffchaff, and overhead, a single Swallow passed over.

Walking back to the car I met an old friend Chris White (originally from Watton now living in London) and his lovely wife Sandra and daughter Grace (also met their other daughter Charlotte near home).  Good to see you all again.

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