Breckland Birder

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

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Great Cressingham, Norfolk

At 0015 I went to Great Cressingham to take Toby for a late night walk on the Peddars Way, there was no wind, cloud cover and it was eerily quiet.  The only call I heard which broke the silence was that of fairly distant 'hissing and screeching' of young Barn Owls begging for food in their nest.  To the untrained ear this sound must appear unnerving in the still of the night.
0445 - I returned to Great Cressingham for a 3 mile circular walk with Toby.  The first bird of the morning was a briefly calling Tawny Owl.  As we set off for the walk both Song Thrush and Blackcap were in song and to the north a Common Curlew briefly sang.  The Curlew breeds locally on grazing grasslands and heaths, this bird was probably collecting food. This, or another Curlew was later seen close to in the early dawn half-light flying close to the road.
With improving light, Whitethroats began to sing, it was clear that many territories ar now occupied by this beautiful Sylvia Warbler.
This walk started with a Tawny Owl species and it ended with a Barn Owl flying over open arable, probably from its nest where I heard young calling just 5 hours previously.

Peddars Way (Great Cressingham/South Pickenham)
Whitethroat (male)
A walk north along the Peddars Way from the Watton/Great Cressingham road to the South Pickenham estate produced at least 8 Whitethroat territories.  Several males also displayed their conspicuous song-flights.
A protracted watch of a typical Whitethroat habitat also produced an overflying Red Kite being mobbed by a corvid species and a pair of Buzzards high gliding east.
Before I left the Peddars Way, a pair of Buzzards (possibly the same pair seen earlier) soaring very high overhead.

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