Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Little Cressingham, Norfolk 11th June 2016

Watton Brook Valley passes through several Parishes on my patch and is viewable from many public highways.  This beautiful meandering waterway is of great interest throughout the year, for me I always look forward to the autumn months when many migrants use this natural feature to navigate by, just as they probably have for millennia.
Watton Brook Valley at Little Cressingham 11/06/16.  The habitat in this picture held Whitethroat (bushes left of Brook in foreground), Goldfinches feeding on Teasel, and a singing Reed Bunting.  Swallows and House Martins constantly flew up and down the valley to collect insect prey.  
This time of year of course sees the banks of Watton Brook heavy in lush waterside foliage comprising reeds, grasses, sedges, and taller weeds such as some wonderful Teasel specimens.
Today, the most obvious species seen was Swallows and House Martins, many of which alighted on the ground near me to collect dried grasses for the nest.  Also, many of these Hirundines flew up and down the valley to collect insect prey.
3 adult Little Grebes were seen, one of which had built a simple reed platform for a nest within tall standing reeds.  4 female Mallards were present, one of these was accompanied by tiny young.
A single Little Owl was sitting hunched on a fence post with a second calling from a nearby Sycamore.  2 Kestrels also present here.
The area also held at least 6 singing Whitethroats, 5+ singing Blackcaps, 1 singing Willow Warbler, and 3+ singing Chiffchaffs.
Goldfinches were present in good numbers with birds attracted to some fine stands of Teasel in the valley.  Also in this area a male Reed Bunting sang. 

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