Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Great Melton, Norfolk

During my break from work I decided to park up along Woodcocks Lane at Great Melton.  I wanted to get a bit of 'shut-eye' before going back to work later, but between dozes, I checked the roadside hedges either side of me for birds.
I arrived at my 'resting point' at 1300 and almost immediately I was greeted by  a calling Chiffchaff in the hedge just to my right.  To be perfectly honest this was a species I have expected to record this winter given the exceptionally mild conditions.
A few moments later a female Sparrowhawk passed by low to my left.
The most abundant species seen from the car was Goldcrest.  Many of these diminutive little gems passed by sometimes within just a few feet from me as they actively went about their business of searching the hedge for food.  Very often, Goldcrests were seen to make fly-catching sallies for gnats by darting out of the hedge to catch a gnat, sometimes performing a very short hover, and fly back to cover within just a second. Several pairs of Goldcrests were seen throughout my stay and I am sure they were all different birds working this habitat.  Observations of Goldcrests increased with frequency towards sunset, my thoughts were that these birds were using the hedgerow highway to make their way to a nearby woodland to roost.
Great Tits were also seen with some frequency as were Blue Tits.  A Treecreeper was heard close by and Wren gave the occasional burst of song.  Robin was also a regular bird here.  A Buzzard was heard calling towards dusk.
This was a bit of a 'lazy birdwatch' for me today, however, it does show what can be seen from the car if you sit and wait.

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