Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Merton (Crows Lane)
This morning I had a short walk along Crows Lane where the dominant habitat is mature deciduous woodland with some fine old Oaks, Beech, and Hawthorn with a lush understorey of greenery.
I only spent about 30 minutes at this locality as I have to work later, however, during this time a good variety of species were both heard and seen.
First of all a family party of Marsh Tits made their way along the lane with adult birds searching under leaves for caterpillars, at the same time a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew away from me revealing its bright white 'braces' (wing patches).
A little further along the lane I could hear a Garden Warbler singing, I eventually located him singing high in a tree.  A short while after this I could hear Blackcaps 'tacking' in low level habitat, undoubtedly this bird was agitated at my presence.
As the lane rises slightly a large area of mixed woodland abuts the road and extends away to the south (where a lovely stand of Larch will be good for Crossbills).  This woodland held singing Goldcrest, Blackcap, and a Whitethroat was heard on the woodland periphery.
Turning back to retrace my steps a family party of Long-tailed Tits were close by and another Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard in the woodland.  Chiffchaff was also heard.
Nearing the end of my walk I heard the soft call of Bullfinches within cover and the shrill trill of Treecreeper was also heard.   

Garden notes
Over the past 22 years I have recorded some exceptional birds either in or over the garden.  The garden was created to provide a home for birds as well as a staging post and feeding station for both passage and resident birds.  Now after all this time we are soon to be on the move and it is my intention to eventually provide a complete list and summary of birds I have recorded in or over the will hopefully find this very interesting reading.
Pied Wagtail (juvenile) garden late May 2014.
This time of year sees gardens full of birdlife with youngsters following their parents around begging for food.
Starlings have been numerous, not only due these often overlooked birds look good, they also provide great comical value as well.
Recent days have also seen young Blue Tits being fed by parents and at ground level, Goldfinches have been teaching their young how to extract seeds/weeds.
We have also had on several days a family party of Pied Wagtails on the lawn.  Although often begging for food, the young Pied Wagtails are able to run daintily over the ground in search for spiders and insects.  One particular occasion saw a young Pied Wagtail looking skyward, this bird was following a Bee species intently as it flew around blossom above it, this was quite comical to watch as the Wagtail I am sure could not make out what this strange creature was.

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