Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Monday, 27 April 2015

Thompson, Norfolk

The day dawned with a slight frost and strong sunshine which lasted well into the afternoon.  Despite a maximum of 13 degrees celsius, sheltered spots felt quite warm.
At 0605 I walked what I refer to as the 'Thompson Triangle', a nice walk with widely varying habitats firstly along Redbrick Road, turning south along the Peddars Way for a visit to Thompson Water, and finally walking back to Redbrick Road.
As soon as I got out of the car, 2 Whitethroats and a male Yellowhammer were in song.  A further 2 Whitethroat territories were found along Redbrick Road.  The walk south along the Peddars Way brought my first Garden Warbler of the year in song in mature woodland, also Goldcrest was heard.  Continuing along the Peddars Way, the sweet descending song of a male Woodlark was heard overhead, whilst on the opposite side of the track on heathland, 2 Willow Warblers sang.
Nuthatch at Thompson Water 27/04/15
Thompson Water
I turned off the Peddars Way for a prolonged visit to Thompson Water.  Overlooking the water was very difficult in the low, strong sun, so much of my birding was confined to the woodland carr habitat along the western side of the water.  The following birds were noted:

Mute Swan
Little Grebe (heard)
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker (male)
1 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (calling)
2 Sand Martins
6+ Song Thrushes singing
1 Garden Warbler singing
Blackcap (male and female seen + singing male)
1 Cetti's Warbler song
Siskin (males and females seen including a male in song-flight and song)
Reed Bunting

Woodland scrub at Thompson Water 27/04/15
The habitat shown here is of Birch, Ash, and Sallow with understorey scrub of mostly Bramble.  Birds seen with this habitat today included 3 Chiffchaffs (one appeared to be prospecting for a nest-site) Blackcap (male and female feeding in Hawthorn), a singing Garden Warbler, and a male Siskin which was singing and performing its song-flight.
The woodland here also supported Tit species, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, and the distinctive call of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.  Finally, on the opposite side of the water I heard the highly distinctive song of a male Cetti's Warbler.


  1. Great Nutter piccy.... a future header perhaps?
    Been too busy to comment much on posts recently...
    but having a few days relaxation to allow the ground to dry out...
    most birds back on patch here... the Creeper amongst Nettles appeared in sight yesterday...
    we'd been hearing them around but no sightings...
    just missing the Wikileaks [Stone Curlews] and the Orioles at the moment!!
    And it looks like there are no Hobbies around this year... although I thought I heard one call last week?
    A friend in a neighbouring town has asked me to "knock-up" some Swift nestboxes...
    they have a good site on their property... and the house opposite was investigated last year...
    but Spadgers had got to the eaves first and were a little defensive!!
    We are phasing out the feeders, slowly...

    1. Hi Tim
      Great minds think alike so they say, I was certainly considering the Nuthatch for the header, and here it is.
      Glad to see the "'Nettlecreeper' has now been sighted...well done. It's smaller (slightly) cousin, Lesser Whitethroat is now back....I would be interested if this species occurs with you as I know they are missing from the Iberian Peninsula.
      I was driving home from my last call at work at 1335 today, and encountered a low flying Marsh Harrier over fields at Morley...a lovely sight.
      Not seen Swift yet...usually see them in the last days of April.
      Chat soon Tim


    2. Wikileaks back last night...
      and orioles calling clearly from wood this afternoon....
      still no Hobbies.

      Lesser Whitethroat is around here...
      believed to breed in a neighbouring commune...
      not seen one, tho'....
      and, if you look at the distribution maps, we are right on the WSW edge of their range.

      When I get some time....
      I must take a wander over there.
      WHEN... as if.... we are in full growing season now!!
      And rain forecast for whole w/e....

    3. Hi Tim

      "Orioles calling from the wood"...probably extinct as a breeding bird here in the UK now. What a great bird for you to have locally to you Tim.
      Good to see you get Lesser Whitethroats. My cousin lives and birds in Spain, Lesser Whitethroats are missing from there.
      Yes Tim, the weather for the weekend is not good here either, but I shall use my breaks from work to look for migrants.
      Chat soon.


    4. Orioles are now in the neighbour's poplar plantation...
      similar layout to the ones at Lakenheath...
      serendipity has it that we can see down the rows from our back door...
      and the birds do circuits of our trees, too!

      Also, one of our Turtle Doves is back...
      purring away in our walnut tree...
      mind you, with the weather today, the rain just starting....
      he had that "damp pigeon" look about him.
      Last year they were flying back and forth past the kitchen and lounge windows...
      we only discovered why in late November....
      there was a typical "pigeon group" nest...
      low down in a bit of Alder coppice....
      fifteen feet from the house!!

      We bought this place for the natural history...
      and natural history we have!!

  2. Stunning Nuthatch pic Paul