Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Deopham Green and Hingham, Norfolk

Deopham Green 1345-1500
For my break from work this afternoon I visited the the vast, open arable farmland on the former WW11 USAF bomber airfield.  I thought I would have a somewhat 'lazy' time birding from my car overlooking farmland to my north and east.  Some long bright spells were broken by some heavy, slow moving rain showers.
A pair of Carrion Crows were sat on top of a muck heap, from where, they later launched a pursuit for a passing female Sparrowhawk
This bleak looking landscape is one which I hope to see Hen Harrier moving through, or where I might once again see Merlin, a species which I saw on two occasions in the closing months of last year.
At about 1445hrs, very dark cloud appeared which soon brought a heavy and prolonged rain shower.  During this period of heavy rain, and with water running down the windscreen, I saw a large bird moving west to east, at just after 1500hrs, however, its initial identification was problematic due to the rain, therefore, I risked opening my window allowing in the rain to try and identify the bird properly, I managed to see it reasonably clearly through my binoculars when the bird was seen to glide on wings held in a shallow 'V', the birds size and flight confirmed this as a Marsh Harrier, probably a female bird.
With time marching on and my return to work imminent, I decided to pay a short visit to an area of damp, rushy grassland at Sea Mere just outside Hingham.

Hingham (Sea Mere) 1515-1530
Potentially, this very damp, marshy locality adjoining Sea Mere, could hold a wintering or visiting Harrier species.  On this visit a pale looking Buzzard upset a number of Wood Pigeons.  The only other raptor species seen was a Kestrel which was mobbed by Corvids.
A single Grey Heron stood motionless on the marsh whilst later, a single Little Egret flew over the marsh to settle in a ditch.
On the far side of the marshy area, a beautiful Red Fox was seen, a nice ending to this visit and my return to work.

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