Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Cranberry Rough/Hockham Fen and Threxton, Norfolk

Following overnight heavy rain the day dawned with bright sunshine and a high of 4 degrees.  Cloud increased during the day as did the wind speed, which by mid-afternoon was a strong south-westerly.

Cranberry Rough/Hockham Fen
My day began prior to sunrise at Galleyhill, Hockham.  This site was so named as the junction here in former times was used to hang and display the bodies of highwaymen, this was to deter any would be criminals from committing acts of theft and robbery etc.
Walking along the fomer rail cutting leading to Cranberry Rough, I was greeted by my first singing Treecreeper of the day.
I arrived at Cranberry Rough with the intention of trying to locate Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, however, no luck on this visit.  The swampy woodland habitat produced the following:

Marsh Tit (photographed Stow Bedon April 2010)
1 Water Rail calling
Mallard (pair)
3 singing Song Thrushes
1 Mistle Thrush singing
Blackbird
4 singing Marsh Tits
1 singing Coal Tit
Great Tit scolding me
Blue Tit
Long-tailed Tit roving flock
Treecreeper singing
Wren many singing
3+ Goldcrest
Chaffinch
Siskins mostly in Alders

And at adjoining Hockham Fen the wonderful sight and sound of displaying Lapwing was frequently seen with the male bird performing his fantastic aerial display
Mute Swan (pair)
Canada Geese
Greylag Geese
Teal
Mallard
Gadwall
4 Grey Herons
2 Lapwings (pair) with displaying male.

Threxton, Norfolk
The wind speed has noticeably increased during the afternoon, its direction was such that the western boundary of the STW took the full force, despite this, a good range of common species were seen along this boundary.
Walking along the STW, it was evident that Long-tailed Tits were doing the circuit with Goldcrests accompanying them.  Blue and Great Tits, 2 Robins, Wrens, and Dunnock were seen here.
A walk along the lane produced hundreds of Gulls on the flood plain adjacent to the Watton Brook Valley, most were Black-headed and Common Gulls, however, a few monster Great Black-backed Gulls were loafing.
Farmland west of the road produced a pair of Mistle Thrushes on farmland.  Large, necky Thrushes with grey/brown upperparts and heavily spotted white underparts.  In flight, the Mistle Thrushes showed a pale fawn rump.
Back at the church, and just prior to leaving, a single Grey Wagtail was seen on the STW, the bird also made a brief visit to the roof of the nearby church.

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