Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Little Cressingham, Norfolk

We have seen a long and almost continuous period of rain, some heavy, and driven along on a moderate to fresh northerly wind.  By this afternoon, a more settled spell of sunny spells was welcome, however, the Arctic wind was a noticeable feature.
This afternoon I decided to walk from 'The Arms' along the Great Cressingham Road to the Watton Brook valley.  Evidence of the recent rain was seen with high levels of water in the Brook.
I expected to see and hear evidence of summer migrants on this walk and indeed a couple of male Blackcaps were heard in song along with the repetitive song of Chiffchaffs.
At the brook I checked the valley for signs of migrants but none were seen, in fact, it was generally quiet with just Buzzards seen over nearby woodland.
Lesser Whitethroat at Little Cressingham 16/04/16

As I approached The Arms I heard a quiet scratchy warble which stopped me in my tracks, movement was seen and I suspected a Sylvia Warbler.  My suspicions were confirmed when a splendid male Lesser Whitethroat appeared in the hedge occasionally giving bursts of its familiar rattle-like song.  This bird was watched moving along the hedge, clambering within cover and sometimes appearing to show quite well.  The constant movement through the hedge was accompanied by a search for food, often picking at twigs and amongst Blackthorn blossom, this urgency to feed suggested this was a recent hungry arrival intent on feeding.  This must surely be one of the earliest Lesser Whitethroats in Norfolk this spring.

1930: A Peregrine passed north over Watton

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