Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Barford and Hardingham, Norfolk

0830: During a break from work I decided to pay a visit to the River Yare valley just west of the village.  A path descends from the Barnham Broom road with the golf course one side of the path and damp woodland the other.  The River Yare passes through lovely marshy habitat.  I will say that I was very angry when I saw a large pile of rubble, plaster, and other building materials dumped on the path by some moronic single celled entity.  As always, I did a bit of rooting about to see if I could find a name and address, or some other clue that may indicate to me who the culprit was.

The walk began with a delightful male Whitethroat singing from a low hedge, he lead the way for me it seemed as he made a number of stops in the hedge in front of me as I descended down towards the valley.
Linnet (male) one of a pair in Gorse habitat at Barford 03/05/16
The woodland, which included Alder and Sallow, held singing Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, and Blackcap.  By the time I reached the end of the wood I located the male Willow Warbler singing in a Sallow, and at times from overhead wires, as I waited, I saw the female Willow Warbler, she was mostly close to the ground in Brambles, with a ground covering of nettles and long grasses, she was clearly within her nesting area.
A second Whitethroat was seen alongside the river in rank vegetation, sidling down dead umbellifer stalks and picking invertebrates from the tops of nettles.  
Back to where the Willow Warblers had established a territory, a pair of Linnets, Goldfinch, and a male Chaffinch were in a dense patch of gorse habitat.  I was able to get some nice views of a male Linnet as he sat within cover within gorse, his crimson fore-crown, breast, and flanks showed nicely in the sun.  The duller, and more striped female Linnet was always close to the male bird.
A male Kestrel flew over.

I stopped for lunch close to the beautiful church and woodland.  It was now quite warm with a high of 17 degrees.
A Red Kite overhead initially caught my attention as it cast a shadow over me as it passed under the sun.
A Blackcap was singing in woodland and a male Chaffinch and a pair of Goldfinches were seen in one of the Yew trees. One Mistle Thrush few by calling.
A pair of Stock Doves frequented the church tower with the male often singing.
Finally, a superb Barn Owl was hunting close by. 

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