Breckland Birder

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

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Little Cressingham, Norfolk

A much less windier day than yesterday with calm conditions at dawn.  These calm conditions allowed mist to form in some areas.  The day was once again largely grey with full cloud cover.  By the afternoon the Northerly wind had increased to moderate in strength.

Little Cressingham ('The Arms' to The Fairstead)
This was to prove to be an interesting morning with plenty of evidence of winter bird arrivals, both Thrushes and Finches, and evidence also of passage Thrushes.

Fieldfare at Little Cressingham 18/10/15
25 Lesser Black-backed Gulls flying south-east.
Pied Wagtails
Skylark (largest flock of 30+ birds)
Fieldfare - overnight arrivals and evidence of passage seen
Redwing - both passage birds and arrivals seen
Song Thrush - several continental birds seen
Blackbirds - several arrivals seen with some feeding up on fruits
Starlings (including a single flock of 70+ birds)
3+ Goldcrests
Marsh Tit
Coal Tit
Blue Tit
20+ Bramblings
Redpolls (largest flock of c.10 birds)
Chaffinch
Greenfinch
Bullfinch 

Little Cressingham (Roadside hedgerows and woodland north of The Arms
Having walked up to The Fairstead, I decided to stop and check the wooded pit and roadside hedgerows north of The Arms.  It was clear that several wintering/passage species were present.  In brief, birds were coming and going for the hour or so I was present for.
Brambling at Little Cressingham
I always pay attention to the small woodland at this locality, several mature tree species form an open canopy, Scots Pines, Oak, Ash all noted with an overgrown understorey of Hawthorn, Dog Rose, Blackthorn, and Ivy.
Good numbers of both Fieldfare and Redwings were seen with smaller numbers of migratory Blackbirds and Song Thrushes.  In addition to these birds, wintering Bramblings (20+) and Redpolls (largest flock of c.10) were also seen in the mix  Resident species included Marsh Tit, Chaffinches, Greenfinches and Bullfinch.
The hedges closer to 'The Arms' held more Bramblings, singleton and small flocks of Redpolls were constantly on the move and identfiable by their distinct flight calls.  Bramblings often gave their nasal-like "zweeeup" and Redpolls called their "chet chet chet" calls.

Watton (late morning)
I arrived back in Watton at about 1130, my first stop was to put some petrol in the car.  Whilst at the garage a high flock of 300+ Fieldfares were heading south-east.
Approaching midday, and a small flock of Fieldfares passed over the garden.

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