Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Friday, 3 April 2015

Merton, Thompson, and Great Cressingham, Norfolk

This was my first local trip out in four days, and the wind insists on coming from the north-west, clearly this is blocking migration at the current time.  With high pressure building from the west from Saturday, and settled conditions on Sunday and Monday, a surge of summer migrants will flood into the country.
This morning I set off from Merton Church and walked along the road to the village of Thompson before taking a footpath through woodland/bracken scrub habitat to Merton and back to my start point.
I was hoping for an early Willow Warbler in suitable habitat, however, I was not successful.  A scattering of 5+ Chiffchaffs was welcome.
My walk also produced 2 Woodlarks (including a singing male) over farmland and woodland between Merton and Thompson, perhaps these were birds from the nearby STANTA army training grounds.
Also noted on the walk was 2 singing Marsh Tits, singing Coal Tit, Nuthatch at 3 sites, and Goldcrest at 3 sites.  Other species recorded were Song Thrush, singing Mistle Thrush and 'drumming' Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Great Cressingham (Peddars Way)
I had an afternoon walk along the Peddars Way north of the Watton Road.  Some Linnets and Yellowhammers were seen and a single Buzzard passed overhead.
Earlier in the week saw very strong winds and on Tuesday 31st March whilst parked at Deopham Green I witnessed huge amounts of wind-dried top-soil being blown from land and being carried high into the sky and off south-east.  This afternoon along the Peddars Way, evidence of similar wind damage was seen with not only mud on the road but drifted top-soil against the field edge hedging.
Whilst walking along the Peddars Way, I met a very nice man named Alan from Ivy Todd.  Alan is also a very keen birder and we stopped and talked for a while about local and coastal birding.  It was also where we stopped to talk that 20 years ago come July, a Balearic Woodchat Shrike remained for a few days.  It was good to meet you Alan and look forward to seeing you again soon.   

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