Breckland Birder

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

Friday, 19 December 2014

Hilborough and Little Cressingham, Norfolk

Hilborough 
After a very wet night with frequent heavy showers, the day dawned bright with good visibility, however, the wind remained quite strong from the south-west.
I parked just west of the village and walked west along the road between tall hedgerows, Scots Pine belts, and mixed mature Oak and Larch woodland.  My aim this morning was to try and relocate the Hen Harrier, therefore, it was necessary to overview the vast farmland from the road.
After some waiting and watching the Hen Harrier never appeared, false hope was seen with scattering song-birds and Jackdaws, but I never saw what caused this behaviour.
Marsh Tit at Hilborough 19/12/14
Despite this, good numbers of Skylarks wandered the fields, at one time there must have been 100+ birds together.  Wood Pigeons and Jackdaws formed the greatest numbers of birds.  It was nice to see 2 Redpoll flying overhead and calling.  These probable North European migrants may have been visiting the Larch trees in order to feed from seed within the cones.
My walk back along the road between the hedgerows produced at least 5 Bullfinches, a number of Blackbirds, Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinch, and the pictured Marsh Tit.
Little Cressingham
An afternoon walk along Fairstead Lane initially produced a single Common Buzzard standing over a Rabbit which it was feeding upon.
At Green Lane, a pair of Bullfinches flew along a hedge/field border.
Later, back at the windmill, the mill-pond held 2 Moorhens, Mute Swan (1), and a pair of Gadwall.  At least 2 Bullfinches were calling.  What Bullfinches lack in calls and song, is made up by the males stunning red plumage.....this will always brighten the dullest of winter days.

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