Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Threxton and Little Cressingham, Norfolk

Although fairly clear at dawn, thick fog once again soon descended over Breckland, this would clear readily to be replaced by heavy rain.
I started out on a 4 mile walk from the sewage treatment works (STW) at Threxton and heard Goldcrests calling in the conifer belt around the STW.  A Kingfisher was heard only in the Watton Brook valley.  Further along the lane a single Little Owl sat motionless on a fencepost in the half-light.  Soon after this, a Sparrowhawk was disturbed in the hedgerow and flew out carrying prey in its talons.
As I reached the junction with the Great Cressingham road at Saham Hall, 2 Kestrels sat together on wires, these were probably young birds.
I then walked the Great Cressingham road for just over a mile until I reached the Peddars Way.  Along the route were lots of Pheasants, Wood Pigeons, and calling Stock DoveBullfinches and Goldcrests were heard along this road.
Walking south along the Peddars Way, the narrow lane descends to the Watton Brook valley at North Bridge, Little Cressingham.  I always spend time checking this area as so much habitat exists in this mix of damp pasture for grazing and arable.  A variety of tree species are present, the most numerous being Alder, with Oak, Ash, and Birch, and a healthy understorey of Hawthorn and Bramble.  This visit saw Bullfinches 'piping' in the trees above along with a pair of Goldcrests.  Several migrant Blackbirds were present along with Redwings, Song Thrush, and a few Fieldfare.
As well as these lovely pockets of habitat, this part of Breckland has wide open vistas of rolling countryside, and although no raptors were seen this morning, I am always ready for the appearance of wintering raptors, especially Peregrine (which is regular), Merlin, and very occasionally (and not often enough) Hen Harrier.
At Little Cressingham I turn left to follow the B1108 back to my start point, it was now becoming increasingly foggy once again.  Further Goldcrests were heard, especially once again in the conifer screen at the STW, also, a Grey Wagtail was heard and my third Kestrel of the walk was seen. 


  1. Paul, you really must take a look at this series of Little Owl slides...
    if you haven't already seen it, of course.
    Susan Walter of "Days on the Claise" and "Loire Valley Nature" sent it to me this evening...
    every shot is a classic caption shot...

  2. Tim, I have just watched the Little Owl slideshow, what an incredible range of pictures and such high quality. Could you imagine being a judge and choosing a impossible task. Thank you very much for sharing this link with me.