Breckland Birder

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

Friday, 19 September 2014

Merton and Threxton, Norfolk 18th Sept. 2014

Following an early morning of thick fog, the sun burnt through leaving a very warm day with highs of about 23 degrees.

Merton
I decided to visit a beautiful area of Merton, about a mile from home, to check the very dense Bramble/Hawthorn scrub and ancient hedgerows.  This one small area produced:

1 Kestrel
30+ Tree Sparrows
Nuthatch
3 Song Thrush (one departed high south-west)
Mistle Thrush
Blackbird
Blackcap (male)
Chiffchaff

Merton has always been a traditional site for Tree Sparrows and breeding does occur at the location visited today.  Nationally, this is now a rare bird, therefore, I feel honoured to have this beautiful bird on the patch.
Of interest was the presence of 3 Song Thrushes, one of which departed at height to the south-west, undoubtedly a migrant bird.

Cormorants at height heading south over Watton

Around about mid-day I was in the garden, looking up I saw these 4 very high Cormorants flying in a southerly heading.
British Cormorants tend to disperse locally, however, Northern European birds do migrate.  Given the height of these Cormorants I think it is very likely that these were Northern birds on passage.




Threxton (late afternoon/sunset)
On this visit I walked the ancient lane between the church and Woodcock Hall with the purpose of finding migrants along the various ditches, however, I could not see any on this occasion.
The sewage treatment works at Threxton is where I decided to spend some time.  These wonderful habitats offer food and shelter to resident and migrant birds and today the following was of interest:

1 Snipe
10+ Stock Doves
Wood Pigeons
30+ Collared Doves
Sparrowhawk (female) upsetting the Stock Doves
Jackdaws
Grey Wagtail
Pied Wagtail
20+ Blackbirds
Song Thrush
Robin
Chiffchaffs
Goldcrests
Blue Tit
20+ Long-tailed Tits

With the sun setting fast, many Blackbirds (20+) started to arrive at the sewage works, some flew circuits, others called from the tops of the Leylandii shelter belt.  European Blackbirds are seen in sometimes vast numbers passing over, however, this generally occurs in November.  I think these are local birds that were arriving at the works to roost in the dense cover of the Leylandii.
Also as light began to fade a flock of 20+ Long-tailed Tits flew directly into the thick Leylandii cover to roost.

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