About Cranberry Rough
Cranberry Rough is a small Breckland reserve which is owned and managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. The reserve lies within the parish of Hockham. Access is not advised due to the very swampy nature of the reserve, however, the former rail-line which ran through the reserve is now a footpath and offers superb views of this habitat. When in use, the rail line had to be significantly raised due to frequent flooding.
This area was once the site of a large lake, left by the retreating glaciers of the last Ice Age 10 -12,000 years ago.
For the neolithic hunters, 10,000 years ago, to the people of the medieval Manor of Hockham, the lake would have been a vital source of fish and fowl. There are records of a ‘fish house’ here in 1380.
In Tudor times there was still a large lake, of around 280 acres, called Hockham Mere, but it gradually silted up and by 1737 it was simply a swamp.
Notable Bird Species
Cranberry Rough is an important reserve for many common species including breeding Tits and Warblers, it is also a reliable location for watching Siskins and Redpolls which are attracted to the Alders for feeding.
Notable species which I have seen at Cranberry Rough includes the now very scarce Willow Tit, also, it is a reliable site for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.
Cranberry Rough 09/02/15
|Cranberry Rough 09/02/15|
For this mornings visit I walked the former rail line through Cranberry Rough. The swampy woodland was dull in the early morning light with a little mist to add to the atmosphere.
Birds heard were 2 Song Thrushes (singing males), singing Nuthatch, several Treecreepers, Marsh, Blue, and Great Tits.
A number of Siskins passed overhead and I eventually located these lovely little Finches feeding high in the canopy of tall Alders.
At least 2 Redpolls passed over the wood calling. Redpolls often associate themselves with Siskins high in Alders, so check tree canopies for something different where Siskins are feeding.