I was joined today by Leigh Gallant, a local man who 'found me' through my blog. Leigh is very passionate about wildlife and is also a keen photographer. My intention today was to introduce Leigh to Thompson Water and its birdlife, fortunately there was plenty on offer both on the water and the surrounding damp woodland.
At 0715, Leigh and I arrived just outside of the village of Thompson for a walk along the narrow road which leads down to the Peddars Way, and eventually our destination at Thompson Water. On route both Goldcrest and Treecreepers were singing in the mature woodland.
We arrived on the bank overlooking Thompson Water and noted many Coot and Mute Swans on the water, whilst here a lovely Grey Wagtail flew into waterside trees offering lovely views whilst close by a female Reed Bunting clambered about in rank vegetation.
|Male Chaffinch at Thompson Water 21/02/16|
Smaller wildfowl seen included several Gadwall, Mallard, a few Teal, and for me, the most attractive Duck, the Wigeon were in small numbers usually hidden within surface weed. The male Wigeon has the most attractive chestnut head with the golden flash from the forehead to the bill.
|Marsh Tit at Thompson Water 21/02/16 (A common species)|
A pair of Chaffinches were seen well with the male looking especially attractive with his dull pink underparts and Blue-grey crown.
A few Reed Buntings were also present, all were females.
Having left Thompson Water we then headed back towards the village to our starting point, on the way, a number of Siskins were chattering away high in woodland.
Arriving back at our cars we set off our separate ways following what was a productive morning. A big thank you to Leigh for joing me, a lovely and very enthusiastic man.
The weather continued very mild at 14 degrees, however, the open landscape here gave no shelter from the strong south-westerly wind.
Despite the wind strength, this short visit produced a good selection and numbers of birds, this included 3 raptor species.
The walk-out from the car was into the wind and the first bird seen was 'windhover' or Kestrel as it is more commonly known as. A pair of Buzzards effortlessly rode the wind.
I was hoping to find Stonechat along the way as this species has been noted here earlier in January, however, not seen today.
I then reached a long Scots Pine belt, a typical Breckland feature, and was greeted by a singing Mistle Thrush, also here was a small flock of Fieldfare.
I was hoping for Goshawk and within a short time a probable juvenile bird appeared ahead of me drifting left to right. Another pair of Buzzards were seen.
Along the pine belt, a few Siskins and Goldfinches, along with 50+ Chaffinches sheltered from the wind.
The walk back saw a large number of various species flocked together on a very large distant field, these comprised 400+ Lapwings, 1000+ Starlings, and many hundreds of Corvid species, an impressive sight.