Breckland Birder

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

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Little Cressingham (Fairstead Lane and Great Cressingham road)

A weak weather front moved out into the North Sea to leave a bright sunny morning.  A low of 5 degrees early morning rising to 11 degrees and feeling warm in sheltered spots.
I walked the length of Fairstead Lane and then turned onto Great Cressingham road to overview maize stubble alongside the STANTA access track.

1 Red Kite
5 Buzzards
6+ pairs of Lapwing
2 Curlew (pair)
100+ Black-headed Gulls following farm machinery

50+ Fieldfare
20+ Redwings
Brambling
Chaffinches
2 Chiffchaff (singing males)
Yellowhammer at 3 sites along Fairstead Lane
Red Kite being seen off by a Lapwing at Little Cressingham 24/03/15

One of the most beautiful sounds of the spring countryside is of displaying Lapwings.  This familiar and delightful species has suffered dramatic declines, however, on my patch they appear to be doing well, much of their success is undoubtedly down to land set aside by farmers for this Lapwings and of course Stone Curlews.
This morning I located 6+ pairs of Lapwings, display was seen, and a potential threat from a passing Red Kite was dealt with by an intercepting Lapwing.
Along the Great Cressingham road I decided to sit and watch an old wooded hedgerow which sides a track leading onto STANTA.
At least 50+ Fieldfares were seen along with smaller numbers of Redwings.  Finch and Bunting species were seen to fly into maize stubble from the hedgerow, these comprised a mix of Chaffinches, a few Yellowhammers, and a number of Bramblings.  One male Brambling was seen quite well in a tree, he showed off his bright Orange breast and scapulars, and in flight the white rump was distinctive.

Once back at home in Watton I decided to give the lawn its first cut of the year.  A short break revealed 4 Buzzards soaring and calling high directly overhead.  A wonderful sight and sound which sadly most people on the ground below are unaware of. 

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