Breckland Birder

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

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

A fine weather window at Thompson Water, Norfolk

I was working this morning and the weather was fine and settled, although cloud did threaten at times.  By the time I finished work early afternoon I decided to make my way to Thompson Water, my arrival at about 1530 coincided with a very threatening, large black cloud approaching from the west.  This cloud eventually brought a very heavy, prolonged shower of both rain and hail.  With some brightness being seen along the distant trailing edge of the cloud, an opportunity arose to overlook the water before the next black system arrived from the west bringing dire conditions once again.  At least I had a bright weather window to hopefully see hunting Hobbies.

Hobby (one of 3) at Thompson Water 20/05/15
As I approached the water, the first birds I saw was 2 Hobbies low, there would soon be a third bird arriving from the south.
During this bright spell of weather I was once again, as in previous years, marvelled at the agility and speed of the Hobbies as they hunted, generally low over the water, for insect prey.  For the whole of my stay at Thompson Water, all 3 Hobbies remained airborne throughout, sweeping back and forth over the water and adjoining woodland in their searches for prey.
A few Swifts and a Swallow were seen over the water, occasionally, the Swifts flew fast away, indicating a Hobby had spotted them for prey, however, the Hobbies always hunted insects.
Also noted on this visit was a calling Water Rail in dense reed cover. 
Warblers were well represented with several Blackcaps, Garden Warbler, Reed Warbers, Chiffchaff, and Willow Warbler.  A Cetti's Warbler also called.  Within the reedbeds, 2 pairs of Mute Swans were nesting.  A calling male Cuckoo was heard.
I finally departed about 1700 with more threatening weather approaching.

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