Breckland Birder

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

Monday, 12 October 2015

Little Cressingham, Norfolk

Another pleasant October day with bright sunny conditions and an easterly wind which had a slight chill to it.
I had a mid-afternoon walk from 'The Arms' to Watton Brook and back.  Common species seen and heard along the route, also an interesting single Corvid species movement.

4 Buzzards
3 Kestrel
Jackdaws (large mobile flock)
Carrion Crow ( amongst sheep)
20+ Skylarks together
2 Marsh Tit
Goldcrest
Long-tailed Tit

A noisy Marsh Tit greeted me on my arrival near 'The Arms' whilst further along the road towards the valley, Goldcrest was heard in the hedge.  At least 20 Skylarks flew left to right over the road. It will be interesting to see what numbers of Skylarks build to during the coming months, many of which could have continental origins.
At the valley I sat for a while and saw 3 Buzzards soaring above me, one was particularly high with a Kestrel mobbing it.  A further two juvenile Kestrels were seen at low level over fields.

Single Crow species movement.
Whilst at Watton Brook I saw a single Crow species very high and heading in a direct east-south-east heading, I watched this bird as it continued its journey until almost lost to sight.  With Rooks being very gregarious, and Carrion Crows being a sedentary species, discussion on this observation would be welcomed.  Could this have been a local movement of a number of miles, or could this have been a juvenile bird wandering to a coastal locality along the English eastern seaboard for the winter?

3 comments:

  1. Paul, at this time of the year we get daily movements....
    up and down the valley...
    singles, groups and in the evening, what can only be described as HUGE flocks...
    500+, growing to around a thousand by the middle of December...
    these are always mixed...
    Jackdaws, Crows and Rooks...
    as they head back to roosts.
    And smaller numbers, in groups, going up the valley in the morning...
    tonight's flight went over about an hour ago...
    toward the setting sun.

    What we've observed is that we get stragglers, individuals or pairs, or even a small party...
    mainly going East, UP the valley, at any time of the day...
    and these are joined by others...
    or some split off to fly to different sites that they know...
    but they all, always seem to come West down the valley of an evening...
    we've seen Jackdaws, Rooks and Crows as stragglers....
    there is a roost to the East of us...
    about half-a-kilometre...
    and we watch a large group spiral down from the main group into the poplar tops....
    then to the West, about the same distance, is another "crowery" with well over 200 birds winter roosting...
    it is a rookery in the summer....
    we've not yet caught the change over from crow&jackdaw roost.... to rookery proper...
    but somewhere at the start of April the rooks return and the crows move out...
    seemingly seamlessly!!

    I, me, myself, personally....
    think that your lone corvid could have been one of what we call stragglers...
    moving between feeding grounds many, many miles apart...

    Something else we've observed here is that the Crows and Buzzards are at it hammer and tongs throughout the late Spring to early Autumn period....
    but hang around together the rest of the year.

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    Replies
    1. A very interesting read here Tim, thank you.
      I am in the same camp as you with the lone Corvid, given that Carrion Crows are sedentary. This was certainly not a Jackdaw, and unlikely to be a Rook, given their propensity for flocking. I therefore think that this was, as you correctly conclude, a bird travelling between distant feeding areas.
      Weather systems looking good for Thrush movement this coming weekend Tim.

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    2. It is certainly all in the right direction...
      looking at the Rare Bird Alerts for Norfolk. there have been some spectacular "falls"...
      again, almost all seemingly, from the coast...

      You are like us, no birders it appears 'twixt us and the Loire...
      and you and the coast.
      Countries need more "patchers" to get a proper idea of the biodiversity...
      ideally, one per kilometre square... but that'll never happen...
      perhaps one per five?? Ten....?
      Up on t'Loire the birder density alone is around forty per kilometre square...
      spread out guys, spread out.

      But...
      the cranes are coming, the cranes are coming!!

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