I started my walk this morning close to 'The Arms' and headed north to check various parts of the valley for migrant activity.
1 Sparrowhawk (male)
1 Kestrel (female)
2 Meadow Pipits (first of autumn)
4 Robin (seen during spot count)
5 Pied Wagtails (spot count)
7+ Blue Tits (spot count)
Walking north from 'The Arms' the hedgerows either side of the road held Whitethroat, Blackcap, and Chiffchaff,were heard only.
Bodney (spot check/count)
Walking west along the B1108 road, I encountered another calling Chiffchaff, this bird was moving through thick bracken habitat, a probable overnight arrival finding somewhere to settle for the day.
I arrived at my intended destination at Bodney, an area of scrub and dense weedy growth close to the Brook, and which for years has been a favourite locality of mine for watching migrants. Recently, I found a Redstart at this site. I spent about an hour watching and listening for migrants, and it was indeed, quite productive.
A female Kestrel came very close and alighted in a tree, it moved off before I could ready the camera.
|Whitethroat - a common autumn migrant on the patch|
A familiar "tak" call was heard from two different birds, I located one visually, a male Blackcap, again, in an Elder bush.
Overhead, a single Hobby passed over in a leisurely flight, circled a couple of times, and headed east.
Moments later, 2 Meadow Pipits passed over west to east, my first of this species for autumn. Later in the month, if the conditions are favourable, significant numbers of Meadow Pipits will pass through the patch as they move from their northern breeding grounds to wintering grounds either in southern Britain or Europe.
The most numerous species see during this check was 7+ Blue Tits, although, just prior to leaving, a party of 5 Pied Wagtails dropped in.
My walk back south along the Great Cressingham road to 'The Arms' once again produced 2 Chiffchaffs, a calling Blackcap, and a smart looking female/1st winter Whitethroat having a preen in a patch of Ivy. Seconds later, a male Sparrowhawk turned up, initially to sit on a post before entering the Ivy where there was no apparent hole, he forced himself through and emerged from a hole further along the Ivy, he was probably looking for a small passerine which may have taken shelter upon his earlier arrival. Seen in bright sunlight, the Sparrowhawk showed off his lovely reddish tones on his breast.
A Coal Tit was seen in the canopy of a tall Scots Pine, this bird was searching the upper branches for spiders and tiny insect prey.