Breckland Birder

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

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Hockham Fen, Norfolk

0800: I Parked in Hockham Forest close to the Picnic site and then walked the minor road to Galley Hill.  I have read accounts that it is at this junction where highwaymen were hanged in order to serve as a reminder to those who intended to hold up coaches.
This lovely walk passes through mostly commercial pine crop, although there is plentiful deciduous woodland of Oak and Birch.  It is at the bridge which passes over the track which was the former railway line where I once watched a Hawfinch fly into roost in the pines.
By far the most abundant bird heard along the walk was Goldcrest, a typical species found in this habitat.  I reached the path which leads to Cranberry Rough to encounter at least 4 Marsh Tits, Goldcrests, Wrens, Treecreeper, Great and Blue Tits.  Overhead in the trees was s mobile flock of 30+ Siskins, it is likely that these are Northern European migrants.
Walking along the boundary fence at Hockham Fen I could see lots of Crows noisily gathering in treetops and flocking over the fen.  Their straining voices suggested a raptor was in the area and it wasn't too long before a female Marsh Harrier appeared briefly.  I watched the fen for some while and again saw the Marsh Harrier being pursued by Crows.  A Chiffchaff was occasionally singing close by.
I walked back along the forest trails to the car to the calls of Goldcrests again, as well as Nuthatch.  

1 comment:

  1. Paul,
    we've noticed here that the crows start to make a call that can only be likened to a machine gun when mobbing raptors...
    which is quite a regular occurence as we've a "crowery" nearby and at least two pairs of buzzards nesting....
    one either side of the valley.

    We are currently being entertained by the antics of the warblers that have stopped over for a feed-up...
    mainly Willow-Chiffs...
    herself has just posted about them on "Aigronne Valley Wildlife"...
    scheduled for tomorrow morning [7AM KLT*]
    The others present are Garden, Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Melodious, etc....
    we also had a Firecrest in the cherry tree outside the bedroom window...
    didn't need a 'scope for that one!!
    We've just bought a pair of Pentax UCF binos for the bedroom windowsill...
    focus to about 7ft...
    we can lie abed with the morning tea....
    and watch out of the window...
    lazy or what?

    [*KLT=Kings Lynn Time...
    my photographer brother lives in Castle Acre...
    so we always need to be aware of KLT]

    ReplyDelete