Breckland Birder

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

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Little Cressingham, Norfolk

This afternoon I took a short walk along the eastern edge of the Clermont Estate, close to 'The Arms' at Little Cressingham.  I then took the fork in the road to walk the mostly Larch belt which leads to the army training ground.
The wind strength had significantly increased throughout the day and it became noticeably colder too.
My intention was to check a large maize strip for Finch species, another traditional locality for this game cover crop.
Brambling (male) at Little Cressingham 28/01/15
Hundreds of Crows and Pigeons became airborne, however, I could not see the cause of this activity.
Approaching the maize belt I could see some Finch movement between the crop and the nearby roadside trees.  Checking through this smallish flock I could see a few Greenfinches, Chaffinches, and a single male Brambling in the tree-tops.  I also saw these Finches fly down into the cover of the maize where they will forage on the ground for food such as  seeds, corn, and weed-seeds.
Finches are very gregarious birds in the winter months and it is always worth checking through mixed flocks for something different.
The Brambling is a winter visitor here in the UK and by March/April, most would have left is to breed in the Birch forests of Northern Europe.  Bramblings are stunning birds, however, as spring approaches the male birds will become brighter and the head will become a solid Black colour.  A very attractive Finch indeed.

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