Breckland Birder

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

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Early migrants on the patch

Colton, Norfolk
A brief walk through mature woodland along the River Yare valley this morning produced a mobile mixed flock of mostly Long-tailed Tits, with smaller numbers of Blue Tits, Great Tits, Marsh Tits, a few Treecreepers, and at least 3 Nuthatches.
This juvenile Chiffchaff was found in cover near to the road, it spent some time preening

Chiffchaff (Juvenile) Colton, Norfolk 07/08/2014

Little Cressingham (early evening)
I decided to check the lush Watton Brook valley for signs of early migrants, the habitat here is a magnet for passage birds with fences and posts to rest and watch from, and the waterside habitat which has a wealth of tall weeds where insects will abound.
After a short search I found a distant Wheatear on posts in the valley. It was clear that this migrant was using its vantage point to watch for food and occasionally it would fly to the ground and return to its perch.  Although distant, it wa possible to see the distinctive white rump for which this species is known for.
Also in the valley quite close to me I could hear a Chiffchaff calling from dense herbage, occasionally it would show itself between this habitat.
Several Goldfinches were seen along the valley feeding within some beautiful stands of thistle.  At least 6 Yellowhammers also seen, this comprised a party of 4, and a pair nearby with one bird carrying food for its young.
 
This is an exciting time for us birders and todays visit to Little Cressingham clearly shows that passage is under way, so check those posts and fences along field edges and waterways for something unusual.    


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