Breckland Birder

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

Monday, 19 January 2015

East Wretham and Croxton Heaths, Norfolk.

The morning dawned fine and dry with a light dusting of snow and a moderate frost.  Early cloud moved away to give a morning of bright, sunny spells.
I arrived at the East Wretham Heath car park just after sunrise.  My route today started with crossing the heath alongside the main Watton to Thetford road in order to meet up with Harling Drove.  I then walked west along this path to Croxton Heath where I walked along a number of forest trails before retracing my steps along Harling Drove.     
East Wretham Heath 19/01/15 (Overlooking Langmere towards Waterloo Plantation)
The picture above overlooks the fluctuating Langmere, one of two large meres on the heath.  The Scots Pine woodland beyond the mere, known as Waterloo Plantation, was planted around the time of the Battle of Waterloo to celebrate Wellingtons victory over Napolean at that battle.
Much of the walk this morning was quiet with a few Goldcrests and Bullfinches calling within woodland habitats, and several Roe Deer being seen.
Most activity was seen from Harling Drove, from where the above shot was taken.  As I walked east along the Drove a Woodcock rose up from a small patch of bracken, I watched it as it flew between trees, zig-zagging as it went.  A few minutes later, just prior to the above photograph being taken I saw something fly between trees being closely shadowed by some Crows, as I found a clearing, I saw a Goshawk flying awayover the heath and towards Waterloo Plantation.  This large raptors presence 'put up' hundreds of nervous Crows, and Wood Pigeons also dispersed not surprisngly.
I also used this walk to recce the area for good Adder sites for the forthcoming spring and relocated an old tree stump where 3 males were watched in March 2014.

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