Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Monday, 26 September 2016

Houghton, Watton Brook, and Hockham

400+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls
4 Grey Partridge
5+ Buzzards
1 Marsh Harrier (male)
3 Hobby
2 Kingfisher (singles 2 sites)
Meadow Pipit (very light southerly passage)
2 Blackcap

What was particularly noticeable about today was the reduced numbers of Warbler species, especially at Houghton.  The vast amount of Sylvia Warblers have probably departed now for warmer climes, however, Chiffchaffs remained plentiful and a couple of Blackcaps were seen/heard.

I started the day with an early morning visit to Houghton, arriving at 0645 and remained until about 0825.  The first obvious movement was of a southerly passage of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, although later 400+ birds were seen in stubble.
A check of hedgerows and other suitable habitats produced several Chiffchaffs and just a single Blackcap.  5+ Meadow Pipits passed overhead in a southerly direction.  Close to the church 5+ Blackbirds and a single Song Thrush were seen sharing the same small tree.  The churchyard itself held a few Chiffchaffs, including a singing bird.
On farmland, 4 Grey Partridges were seen together, an uncommon sight these days.
Grey Partridges at Houghton 26 Sept.  4 birds seen together.
Watton Brook (Little Cressingham)
A short visit today revealed little along the valley, however, a single Blackcap (female) was seen in Osiers before flying off north to hedgerows.  A single Kingfisher flew along the valley.

Chiffchaff by Umbellifer at Hockham 26 Sept.

A short but productive visit started with a male Marsh Harrier hunting over reeds and Sallows, whilst  in the area at least 5 Buzzards were seen.  3 Hobby were seen together hunting above  woodland and fen habitat.  Insects was the main quarry with one bird seen feeding on the wing by passing food from talon to bill.
Two Grey Herons were seen.  A single Kingfisher passed by me calling.
In nearby woodland a mobile flock of Long-tailed Tits comprised other Tit species and Chiffchaffs.  One Chiffchaff was watched for some time picking for food from the underside of Umbellifer species.

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