Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Monday, 1 June 2015

Deopham, Norfolk

Although now returned mostly to arable, this former site of a WW2 USAF Heavy Bomber Group still has much evidence of the airfield in existence, most notably, the straight road between Deopham and Little Ellingham, which sits on the course of the main runway.  Much of the concrete runway runs parrallel with the road.
Whenever I visit this location I try to imagine what it would have been like here 70 years ago when the airfield was the home to 4000 men.  In fact my work as a carer sees me visit some lovely people who lived through the war years. These wonderful people have shed much light on Deopham airfield and I have learnt much of the activities which went on during those war years.
The area is now arable farmland, however, the wide open spaces and topography would certainly have contributed towards Deopham being identified for an airfield.  I think it has an atmosphere and I always remember those who gave their lives to secure our freedom.
Deopham 01/06/16.  This wonderful habitat of Bramble, Dog Rose, Hawthorn, Sallow, and Gorse, today supported Blackbirds (carrying food), Linnets (2 pairs), Yellowhammer, and Wren.  I am sure Whitethroats are present also.
This wonderful habitat seen here has taken hold along the edge of what was the main runway of the airfield.  Although looking quite extensive in this picture it is really quite an isolated habitat lying within vast arable farmland.  Perhaps this habitat will attract a Shrike species...it looks right.
I noted many Skylarks both singing overhead as well as individuals feeding on the concrete.  I was thinking during my visit that 70 years ago, quite spells on the airfield must have seen USAF personnel looking up and listening to the wonderful Skylark.  Perhaps the Skylarks seen today were descended from birds seen by those personnel all those years ago.
Ahead of this picture lies a muck heap, I always check this for passage Waders, today however, I saw a single Pied Wagtail.  A little further along from there a singing Lesser Whitethroat sang from another length of relatively isolated wooded hedgerow.

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