Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Monday, 11 May 2015

Hockham Fen and Frost's Common, Hockham, Norfolk

Hockham Fen (static overview)
A very mild start to the day with the promise of a high of about 21 degrees.  Cloudy initially with warm sunny conditions ahead.
I paid a fairly short visit to the fen this morning with a good selection of migrants being seen and heard.
Garden Warbler habitat at Hockham Fen 11/05/15
On the fen 4 pairs of Canada Geese and one pair of Greylag seen.  Hidden within the phragmites was a singing Sedge Warbler.  A single calling Cuckoo was heard to the distant west.
At the time of my visit little was seen above the fen other than a single passing Sand Martin and a couple of Rooks.
The periphery of the fen held a singing Garden Warbler within open woodland containing Bramble and Hawthorn scrub.  The bird was quite mobile showing briefly in Bramble.  Also noted within this habitat was singing Blackcap (including agitated call being heard) and singing Chiffchaff.

Frost's Common, Hockham
This beautiful common comprises grassland/heathland habitat with scattered Birch, Hawthorn, and Bramble scrub, and some very fine Sallow along ditch sides.  It is surrounded by mature, mixed, woodland habitat, with Pine being dominant.
Great Spotted Woodpecker (male) Frost's Common.
A calling Cuckoo was initially calling in trees, however, the bird was mobile over quite a large area.  I suspect this was the same bird heard earlier to the west of Hockham Fen.
A singing Garden Warbler was heard in mixed scrub, but was soon visually located singing in Bramble and Birch scrub.
Also noted in the area was singing Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush, and a Mistle Thrush was seen overhead.  A pair of Coal Tits were seen, also 3 Yellowhammers, including 2 males.
A beautiful male Great Spotted Woodpecker alighted on a dead Birch stump where it probably search for invertebrates within the decaying wood.
Upon leaving the common, a pair of Blackbirds appeared in the top of a Birch.

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