Breckland Birder

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

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Ashill (Common Road and Common), Norfolk

Another beautiful dawn this morning, calm with clear skies and a light west-south-westerly.  Dawn temperature was 9 degrees celsius.
I arrived at Ashill Common just prior to sunrise and walked the length of Common Road before turning back and doing a circuit of the common.
A good range of species was seen, this included evidence of passage and visible migration, and recent arrivals/winter visitors.
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Visible Migration (including birds heard)
1 Snipe (high west)
Meadow Pipits - light passage (most heard) heading south
Siskin - mostly heard but flock of c.10 south seen over Ashill Common
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The first noteable observation was of 1000+ 'large Gulls' mostly Lesser Black-backed Gulls and smaller numbers of Great Black-backed Gull over farmland.  These birds have been seen on recent visits following farm machinery turning the land.  Machinery soon started working the land early morning which attracted the Gulls, however, many were also just 'loafing' in fields of stubble.
As I continued my walk east I was soon alerted to calling Golden Plovers (200+) wheeling high above.

Meadow Pipit Ashill 20/09/15
At 0700, whilst watching the Golden Plovers, a single Snipe was seen high above me, it was watched heading purposefully west.  I wonder where it was heading, the Wash, or Ireland perhaps, and what of its origins, Britain or Northern Europe?
Throughout the walk this morning, a light passage of Meadow Pipits was heard overhead, also, good numbers were seen in stubble and roadside wires.  Were these migrating birds stopping off to feed and rest, or possibly wintering birds.
A light passage of Siskins was evident, none were actually seen, too high perhaps.

Ashill Common
My final stop of the morning was on Ashill Common, in particular, the tall hedging and scrub along Devil's Dyke where I hope for more migrants.

Whitethroat (juvenile) Ashill Common 20/09/15

The first bird seen in the hedge was this juvenile Whitethroat, however, the most abundant species here this morning was Greenfinch (about 20), also a couple of Bullfinches were seen here.
Overhead passage continued with small numbers of Meadow Pipits mostly heard, but the most significant visble migrant was a flock of about 10 Siskins which passed directly over me in a southerly heading

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