Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Little Cressingham, Norfolk

Time is getting on now with no Whitethroats seen so far, therefore, I paid a short visit to the Great Cressingham Road NW of 'The Arms' with this being my target species.  I went as far as the Watton Brook valley and returned back along the same road.
A cool morning with sunny spells and frequent light showers driven along on a moderate Northerly wind.
It wasn't too long after starting my walk that I detected some movement within the roadside hedge, the behaviour of the bird looked very favourable, then I heard a very familiar "tschair" call, the alarm call of Whitethroat, also heard was an equally familiar "ved ved ved" and then I heard brief bursts of song and sub-song, to top this I then saw a bright white throat low in the hedge, a lovely male Whitethroat, and very close by, a second male Whitethroat, perhaps these were recent arrivals.
These two Whitethroats mostly kept to cover, however, one or two brief glimpses of a bird was seen in a gap in the hedge, one view saw the lovely rusty wing panel, he was also giving sub-song.  One Whitethroat announced his arrival with a showing of its song-flight, but the conditions mostly kept the birds to the relative warmth of cover.
Whitethroat
A singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff were heard in the wooded pit.
I moved on to the Watton Brook valley with the intention of finding another Whitethroat, or another summer migrant species somewhere along the valley, this was not to be.
Although there was no success with further summer visitors, a single Fieldfare arrived in a small area of woodland by the Brook and announced its arrival with the familiar "chack chack" call.  The Fieldfare remained here for a few minutes before flying off, gaining a good altitude and heading off in a Northerly direction, I watched this winter visitor Thrush for some time as it headed off into the northern skies.  This is now getting quite late for Fieldfare, this straggler looked a lonesome figure for a species with a very gregarious nature.  My latest ever date for Fieldfare was 1st May.
Other notable species this morning included at least 3 singing Song Thrushes and a single Mistle Thrush on grassland searching for food.

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