Breckland Birder

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

Monday, 4 May 2015

Thompson, Norfolk 0420-0730

I am always an early bird and therefore I can't think of anything better to do on a beautiful early May dawn than to visit Thompson Water and its surrounding woodland.  I intended to try for Nightingale, however, I was unsuccessful. 
I arrived just outside the village of Thompson in mild, still conditions.  Once ready I walked the long single track road which passes through mature deciduous woodland down to one of the many STANTA access gates.
The first bird of the morning was a Tawny Owl flying into an Oak just ahead of me, it then silently flew across the road as a shadow into dense woodland habitat.  Also along the road, several Song Thrushes, Blackbirds, and a single Goldcrest were early songsters.

Thompson Water
An orange glow low to the east hinted at the approaching dawn (sunrise 0518).  I made my way to the south-east corner of the water to overview this large body of water, to my right in thick reeds, several Reed Warblers were singing. 
Thompson Water at 0445 on 04/05/15
2+ HOBBY (my first of year)
Siskin at Thompson Water 04/05/15 (Regular breeder)
1 Marsh Harrier (briefly)
4 Mute Swan (one on nest)
Little Grebe
3+ SWIFT
1+ Cetti's Warbler
Reed Warbler (many singing males)
3+ Garden Warblers (singing males)
Blackcap - many
Chiffchaff
1 Willow Warbler
4+ Goldcrests (singing males)
Nuthatch
Siskin
Reed Bunting
Red Deer - hind

2 Hobbies (my first of the year) appeared at Thompson Water at 0455, some 25 minutes prior to sunrise.  Both Falcons swept back and forth above woodland and waterside scrub in search of insect prey.  Both birds were silhouetted against the pre-dawn sky.  A largish insect (probably a Bee) flew up from the woodland, it was easily intercepted and taken by a Hobby.

3+ Swifts appeared over Thompson Water at dawn, and again, these were the first of this species this year.  Interestingly, small numbers of Swifts were seen above Watton late afternoon.  All were probable arrivals during the previous night.

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