Breckland Birder

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

Monday, 12 January 2015

Lynford Water, Norfolk

Another unsettled day with strong south-westerlies and frequent, sometimes heavy showers.  A very mild day with a dawn temperature of 9 degrees celsius rising to a maxima of 12 degrees.  The thick cloud provided very low light conditions.
I arrived at Lynford Water at about 1400 and remained for about an hour, this was good timing as I had a window of dry weather between the rain, however, light remained poor.
Lynford Water is a Forestry Commission site and was for some 50 years used for gravel extraction, this ended a few years ago and is now a site for public access.  It was during extraction activities that the largest haul of Mammoth, Rhino, and other mammal remains in the UK was discovered.   
Long-tailed Tit at Lynford Water 12/01/15
The obvious highlight of this visit was watching a sometimes noisy flock of 300+ Siskins flying between treetops, mostly Alders, where they fed from the cones.  For a while there was a constant stream of Siskins flying between treetops until they all mostly settled in the Alders.  On one occasion the whole flock was disturbed and they all flew out together, the noise was incredible, and wonderful.
A walk alongside one of the two lakes here produced 50+ Tufted Duck, a pair of Pochard, 2 Mute Swans, and a single Grey Heron.
Since reverting to public access, the vast sloping sides of the water has been taken over by Broom, Gorse, Birch, and Hawthorn scrub, potentially ideal habitat for Stonechat.  This visit produced two flocks of mobile Long-tailed Tits, also, a few Redwings were in thicker woodland with the occasional bird glimpsed with binoculars between branches.
I arrived home and within a few minutes, heavy persistent rain moved in again.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Paul,
    300+ Siskins... eeek!
    We've had 30'ish through for a couple of days... but no sight since...
    we've Alders just outside the picture window front door...
    and they love to feed there, 10ft away!
    Lovely shot in the last post, btw!!
    They are almost as entertaining as the daily passage of the Long-tailed Tits...
    a family group I think, around ten only...
    and we are getting regular visits from a Short-toed Treecreeper....
    we don't get the British one here...

    But no migratory Thrush species yet....
    peculiar that...
    we usually have Redwing and Fieldfare galore!
    Nor our usual tranche of Bramblings...
    but Pauline did find, and blog about, our Grive musicienne...
    Song Thrush to you and I...
    and the wonderful anvil near our "field feeder"...
    we seem to be spending inordinate lengths of time in the "hide"...
    leaning on the bedroom windowsill, binoculars in hand...
    these grotty mornings!!
    We've also had only one Great White Egret around...
    and that before Christmas...
    and there is only one "vulture" sitting in the ash tree next to our neighbour's étang... french for summat 'twixt a pond and a lake...
    this one was the header for his mill...
    next down the millstream.

    The light is very poor, isn't it...???
    I'm using 800 or 1600 ASA settings for record shots!!
    And I mean record shots...
    Pentax, with which I am forever chained...
    too much good glass in the bag...
    is very grainy above 800 ASA.
    Mind you, I looked at some of my old Fujichrome slides the other day...
    and 1600 ASA digital beats those...
    so perhaps it is just my expectations that cloud the picture.
    Keep well,
    Tim

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  2. Hi Tim
    Firstly, I want to say that you have been in my thoughts since the recent troubles in France, and I hope you are keeping well and safe.
    The light has certainly been poor of late and high ISO numbers have been used frequently with mixed results. The Canon 7D has a high ISO noise reduction facility, however, there is always a trade off and with this model it is a reduced burst maxima of 6 shots.
    Bramblings here have been in short supply this winter also with only flyover migrants heard, but winter Thrushes have been seen in good numbers recently, including today, with a fantastic 400+ on the patch. Smaller flocks of 200+ and 50+ have been seen recently, probably local wanderers, a bit early for return passage I think.
    You write about Great White Egret Tim. This species is beginning to appear with some frequency now in the UK and I have read that this is one species probably to be added soon as a breeding bird to our shores.
    Grive musicienne.....what a wonderful name this is, I certainly understand the 'musicienne' part of the name...beautiful.
    Tim, great to get your post as always.
    Keep well and safe.
    Paul

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Paul, yes we are keeping well and safe...
      but what happened has stunned and shocked everyone...
      especially the execution style approach to the injured, and a Muslim, policeman...
      and the poor young trainee Gendarme lass...
      horrible!
      I have never liked cities... this compounds it!

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