Breckland Birder

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

Friday, 23 October 2015

Hockham Fen, Norfolk

This morning we had first real frost of autumn, it was a light frost with the car windscreen slightly iced. 
I arrived at Hockham Forest long before sunrise and with the woodland in almost complete darkness.
Hockham Fen 23/10/15
The walk along the forest rides, despite being in darkness produced calling Redwings and Song Thrushes and Goldcrests were stirring.  A male Tawny Owl was calling.
Bu the time I got to Hockham Fen it was starting to get light so I sat down overlooking Reedbeds, weedy ditches, grassland, Sallow/Alder Carr and mixed woodland habitats.
2 Red Deer crossed the fen at dawn and despite being quite concealed these beautiful animals knew that something was not right, they frequently stopped and nervously looked my way before continuing through the reeds,
Siskins were one of the first species to be heard and seen overhead, these were followed by singleton Fieldfare and Redwings passing over.  One Buzzard flew over the fen.
2 Mute Swans arrived from the west at separate times and Teal were "kleeping" within the swampy fen.  Later in the winter months, very large numbers of Teal will occur on the fen.
The only other raptor seen today was a hunting Kestrel. Bramblings, mostly small numbers, passed over the fen and a single calling Redpoll passed overhead.
My walk back along the forest rides produced typical mixed woodland species including Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrests, Treecreepers, Nuthatch, and Tit species.
As I was nearing the end of my walk a good count of 8 Bullfinches passed through the canopy of pine woodland.

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