Breckland Birder

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

Monday, 15 June 2015

Houghton-on-the-Hill and Little Cressingham, Norfolk

Houghton-on-the-Hill
The day dawned bright and more June-like following what was a pretty dismal weekend of weather.
Female Chaffinch on nest 15/06/15
The peaceful, tranquil setting of Houghton-on-the-Hill is where I spent an hour this morning watching the comings and goings of a pair of Chaffinches.  The nest is located on a horizontal branch secured against a fork within an old Hawthorn.  It was evident that young were in the nest as both parents were making frequent flights away from the nest to collect food.  The female as seen here spent some time brooding her young family.
A Sparrowhawk took me by surprise by shooting through trees just in front of me, appearing almost as a blur. 
2 male Blackcaps sang in the immediate area as well as Chiffchaff.  Shortly before leaving I saw a Buzzard carrying prey into nearby woodland, also an indication of breeding success.

Little Cressingham (mid-afternoon)
A very pleasant afternoon with sunny weather and a high of 19 degrees.  This afternoon I walked along the Great Cressingham Road north of The Arms to Watton Brook and back.

Speckled Wood at Little Cressingham, 15/06/15
As well as my birding passion, I am also trying to learn more about insects, the roadside verges here are quite wide on both sides and clearly hold much botanical interest, this in turn supports wonderful insect life.
The verges here today held Moth species (not identified), Speckled WoodRed Admiral and Common Blue Butterflies, and Cinnabar moth.
Woodland near Hopton Farm held a wandering party of Blue Tits, including yellow-faced juvenile birds.
Further along the walk I saw a Buzzard, this was then followed by a Hobby emerging from woodland.  I watched the Hobby soar and gain altitude, it gained several hundred feet, then, amazingly, the Falcon plummeted almost vertically for a considerable drop, and at tremendous speed before disappearing out of sight behind woodland.
Walking back to my start point I was very impressed by the fantastic display of flowering Dog Rose within the roadside hedgerows...a wonderful sight.

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