Breckland Birder

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

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Little and Great Cressingham (Peddars Way)

Dry at dawn soon followed by some very heavy showers early morning.  The day then remained dry with variable cloud. Moderate to fresh north-easterly wind.
With heavy showers passing through at dawn I walked the Peddars Way north of Little Cressingham hoping that more migrants may have made landfall.
Expected species were heard and seen, however, there did not appear to be any increases in numbers from my previous visit to this area.
Encouragingly, the singing QUAIL was still in crops close to where I initially heard the bird early on 18th April.  I hope it stays to breed.  Quail are very scarce breeding birds in the UK, most years I  hear just one, possibly two singing birds on my patch.
The presence of this Quail on my Breckland patch is tinged with  sadness and, some anger.  Quails are heavily hunted in the Mediterranean when on passage from Africa to their breeding grounds in Europe.  The human race can survive quite adequately without hunting wild birds on passage.  Conservation, bird protection, education, and the outlawing of hunting birds in the Mediterranean is a growing force, however, in some instances those protecting birds are sometimes under threat themselves from hunters. 
Whitethroat (male) photographed at Little Cressingham in May 2013.  More arrivals expected in the next week.
A single singing Whitethroat and a few Blackcaps were in song, also, several Linnets lined the hedgerows along the Peddars Way.  Over the next two weeks or so the main arrival of passage migrant and summer visitors will be seen and most hedgerows and woodlands will hold increased numbers of Warblers.
Walking back to the start point at Little Cressingham I could see a pair of nesting Mute Swans in the Watton Brook valley, also, overhead in the village, a single House Martin was seen.

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