Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Friday, 15 May 2015

Hockham (Frost's Common and Fen), and Little Cressingham, Norfolk

Hockham (Frost's Common/Fen)
With work beckoning in the garden this morning I paid a rather brief visit to Frost's Common where common Warbler species were in good voice.  As soon as I arrived a Garden Warbler sang in mature, mixed woodland habitat.  A few Blackcaps and Chiffchaff were both in song and a second Garden Warbler was heard in dense scrub, I would investigate this bird later.  A calling male Cuckoo was heard widely from woodland to fen habitat.  An short overview of Hockham Fen from one of the gates revealed a singing Reed Warbler hidden somewhere in lush habitat.
Making my way back, I decided to locate the second singing Garden Warbler of the day, I positioned myself along the edge of dense Birch, Gorse, and young conifer woodland, I could hear the Warbler and it was clear it was mobile.  My patience was rewarded when the Garden Warbler appeared in a pine near Gorse scrub, but it was gone as soon as it appeared.

Little Cressingham (Great Cressingham Road)
A late afternoon walk from just north of 'The Arms' to Watton Brook and return.  A very sunny afternoon with a high of 15 degrees celsius.
Painted Lady at Little Cressingham 15/05/15.  An early record.
Little seen initially with only a single adult Grey Heron flying east along the valley.  Heading back towards 'The Arms' a Blackcap and Chiffchaff were in song in the old Chalk pit. 
Close to the chalk pit I found my first Painted Lady of the year, a fine looking Butterfly, and quite early too as this migratory species generally arrives in the UK in June.  A little further along the road a Whitethroat very briefly sang.  The hedgerow alongside the road to 'The Arms' held a singing Garden Warbler.


  1. Seeing your photo of the Painted Lady...
    perhaps I did see one yesterday...
    like you, it seemed exceptionally early even for here.
    I wasn't in a position to go and take a closer look...
    I had a load of wet washing to get to the "whirly".
    Because of the date, I put it down to a faded Red Admirabubble...
    of which we have plenty... but not usually that pale.

    Had a Short-toed Eagle hunting the fields nearby...
    work stopped for a couple of hours!!

  2. Hi Tim
    Yes, I was a little surprised a seeing the Painted Lady, usually a June arrival I think.
    Your Short-toed Eagle...what a fantastic bird to have on your patch Tim....not surprised work stopped for a while.