Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Friday, 26 August 2016

Watton Brook Valley

A interesting short visit at dawn to a section of the valley near Little Cressingham produced some movements of birds as well as good counts of commoner species.
There had been a little overnight rain but the day dawned bright.  A lovely mist hung over the valley.

1 Hobby
1 Kestrel
2 Buzzards
1 Goshawk (juv)
15+ Duck species - unidentified (very high east)
1 Redshank (heard)
600+ Starlings
Kingfisher
4 Swallows west
1 Willow Warbler (passage bird)
Whitethroat
300+ Linnets

The visit started with a single Hobby drifting high west, a check through binoculars clearly showed the white cheeks in the early sunlight.
As with most early morning visits recently, good numbers of Starlings (600+) gathered in their post roost tree in the valley where they chattered amongst each other.  After a short while a large part of this gathering left the tree and performed a mini-murmuration by forming a perfect, tight ball shape in the sky before departing north-west to their feeding stations.
A small line of 15+ Duck species passed directly overhead in an easterly heading, these appeared to be a small species, however, I could not properly identify them.   It was about this time that I heard a passage Redshank.
In a nearby patch of Osiers a single migrant Willow Warbler was seen and occasionally sang whilst in a Bramble patch a Whitethroat was seen.
Evidence of passage seen later when 4+ Swallows passed overhead in an westerly heading, I watched them continue their journey until almost lost to view.
An area traditionally set aside for growing maize, along with a wide weedy strip, attracted 300+ Linnets whilst in an adjacent wooded pit a Blackcap and 2+ Chiffchaffs were present.
As almost expected a single Goshawk appeared quite close to me where it appeared to chase one of two Buzzards present.


3 comments:

  1. Glad to hear you are picking up some local migrants Paul. Quite slow here, Greenshank over and resident Hobby regular. Osprey reported locally, that's my target for the next week- that, and enjoying the broads!
    Jim.

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  2. Hi Jim, good to get your message. Houghton-on-the-Hill has produced some good numbers of migrants, however, September is probably the best time to visit for passage, especially if the conditions are right. I understand you have work commitments with schools returning soon but if you would like to come over for some vismigging around mid-September on a Saturday or Sunday, then it would be great to see you. I was at Houghton recently on a particularly windy morning, but in the shelter of bushes I had good numbers of Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, and Whitethroats, all sharing the same small patch of Elders. Good luck finding Osprey Jim...and other migrants.

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  3. Will certainly bear that in mind Paul, will drop you an email if I can get some time. Happy birding.
    Jim.

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