This morning I parked in the beautiful village of Thompson and walked towards STANTA, visiting Thompson Water, the Peddars Way LDP and nearby woodland clearings.
This was a productive visit with a good range of species seen and heard, this included birds holding territory, and evidence of successful breeding.
The highlights of the morning was:
Little Grebe + young
2 Tree Pipit - male singing/displaying
1 Marsh Harrier - male
Reed Warbler (pair seen close to)
6+ Garden Warblers holding territory
1 Hobby over Watton late morning
I have provided highlights above, but what really constitutes 'a highlight' when all birds are essentially highlights.
As soon as I was out of the car a calling, distant Cuckoo was heard. Walking along the narrow road towards Thompson Water, 3 Garden Warblers were located in song as well as a nearby Willow Warbler.
|Reed Warbler habitat at Thompson Water 6th May|
Walking along the Peddars Way 2 singing Garden Warblers, 1 Whitethroat, and a single Willow Warbler were heard.
My intention of the morning was to check a clearing for evidence of Pipits and Woodlarks. Upon my arrival it wasn't long before I heard a singing male Tree Pipit in a line of Ash trees, also present was a singing Woodlark, Yellowhammer, and another Garden Warbler. I spent some time here watching and listening to the Tree Pipit (read on for notes)
Walking back along the Peddars Way a male Marsh Harrier was readily identified from the female by his tri-colour appearance.
At Thompson Water a Little Grebe was seen with the tiniest, single youngster. This only youngster was black in appearance and clearly recently hatched. I was unable to see any head stripes due to its silhouetted appearance against the morning sun.
A least 3 Reed Warblers were singing. A pair was watched very close to as they moved about thick reed cover.
Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs are clearly widespread and common in the area now.
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
|Tree Pipit (male) Thompson 6th May|
I made my way to a location which since being cleared has been a good area for both Woodlark and Tree Pipit, and this was my first check of the site for Tree Pipit this year.
It wasn't too long after my arrival that I could hear the distinctive song of a Tree Pipit. A search of some Ash trees soon saw this migrant species singing high in trees. It became evident that a second bird, undoubtedly a female, was seen in and out of rank vegetation and grasses.
I sat and watched the Tree Pipit for some time as he delivered his song from several trees in his territory, also seen was the highly distinctive 'parachute' song-flight.
Also noted within this clearing was a singing Woodlark, Yellowhammer, and another Garden Warbler.
Shortly after arriving back home in Watton I saw my first Hobby of the year pass over the town.