Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Houghton (North Pickenham), Norfolk (for Raptor passage).

Yesterday I wrote of 2 Hobbies flying in a very purposeful northerly heading, my conclusion was that these were passage birds given the good conditions for migration.  It also appears, from what I read, that scarce raptors were on the move through Norfolk yesterday (17/05/14).
Very warm conditions were predicted again today, this coupled with the moderate south-easterly wind indicated that more raptors may be on the move, therefore, I headed for Houghton for a short period of vismigging (Visible Migration).
The hedgerows along the lanes produced Whitethroats, Blackcaps, and Chiffchaffs in song, and just as I entered Common Lane, 2 Tawny Owls were calling in the large Oaks and Ash trees.  Bullfinches are a regular species here and a pair were seen typical darting between cover whilst giving their soft piping call.
At about 1130 I reached my chosen migration watch-point, the sun was very warm and white clouds were moving gently across the sky from the south-east.  I settled in to watch the sky above me and then at 1140, I saw what I had been waiting for, a Honey Buzzard passed directly above me high from the south to the north.
As written earlier, this Honey Buzzard record follows on from others seen at other Norfolk localities yesterday.
As I was preparing to leave a single Common Buzzard flew into an Oak where it probably had its nest, this bird was carrying in its talons something that resembled a Snake, but the prey/item was to distant to confirm.

Watton (Garden)
Very warm conditions with blue, cloudless skies, and a refreshing south-easterly wind.

Starling (juvenile) Watton 18/05/14

Plenty of evidence this afternoon of young birds in the garden with Starlings dominating.  I have noticed that these youngsters are now feeding independently of their parents.  Other behaviour these youngsters have already adopted is this species comical, noisy squabbling....I do love Starlings.
Also seen in the garden this afternoon was recently fledged Blue Tits, House Sparrows, Blackbirds (pair), Wood Pigeons, and beautiful Greenfinches.

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