Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Little Cressingham (Great Cressingham Road) Norfolk

Early morning, and and walk from 'The Arms' and north along the Great Cressingham road to 'The Fairstead' and back revealed little summer migrant activity other than an odd Blackcap and Chiffchaff calling.  The Watton Brook Valley appeared quiet, although I am sure that within the dense vegetation migrants skulked.  Several Wood Pigeons were seen in the valley and I did see a passerine drop very fast into the valley before I was able to identify it.
Despite the lack of Warbler activity there was overhead passage of both Siskins (small numbers) and several parties of Meadow Pipits in a north to south heading.  The best Meadow Pipit count was 25+ birds over.
Turning onto Fairstead Lane I checked the old hedgerow which forms a field/ditch boundary south of the road, here, a nice 20+ Greenfinches was present.
My walk back south along the Great Cressingham Road brought a very close encounter with a juvenile Goshawk.  I found a break in the hedge and scanned the sloping field where a few Skylarks were seen, moments later, a Goshawk appeared, hugging the ground about 50 yards south of me.  Thinking that this bird was going to fly over the hedge and road and over the next field, I adjusted my position, but where did the raptor go.  I returned to my original position in the gap in the hedge, when the Goshawk silently passed by within about 5 feet of me at waist top height, an incredible experience.
Having caught my breath following the Goshawk experience, I continued my walk back down the hill and into the valley where 15+ Yellowhammers were seen in the hedgerows and fencing.  A short distance further on a Chiffchaff called and a charm of about 10 Goldfinches were seen. 

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