Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Water Rail at Thompson Water, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Wramplingham (Skoyles Lane), Norfolk

During my afternoon break from work today (1345-1500) I chose a completely random location to take lunch and do some birding from my parking spot between a break in a hedge along Skoyles Lane.  The habitat here was arable with some fine hedgerow habitat to check, in particular a lovely area of tall Hawthorn with Elder and Bramble within.

2 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
2 Red Kites
3 Buzzards
1 Marsh Harrier NW at 1430
2 Lesser Whitethroats

The first raptor was a soaring Sparrowhawk above me shortly followed by a hunting Kestrel to the north.  A pair of Red Kites showed well as they soared low over farmland.  At least 3 Buzzards were seen including two soaring directly above me and calling. At 1430 a Marsh Harrier passed over in an north-westerly heading and attracted the attention of a few mobbing Crows.  Another Sparrowhawk was later seen soaring low over woodland.
Well stocked hedgerow at Wramplingham 22 Sept where 2 Lesser Whitethroats seen 
As soon as I parked up for my break I took particular interest in this hedgerow which runs north to south at Skoyles Lane.  Some fine, tall Hawthorn are seen here along with Elder bushes and Brambles with a very heavy crop of Blackberries. 
I felt confident that passage Warblers would be present at this excellent feeding staging location and indeed at 1400 I detected movement, it was a superb looking Lesser Whitethroat, then close by a second Lesser Whitethroat joined it.  Initially I viewed these stunning Warblers at x8, however, having set the 'scope up I had some excellent views at x25 to x30.
These Lesser Whitethroats were typically stunning birds with their grey heads and darker ear-coverts contrasting strongly with the white throat.  The mantle and wings were a uniform brownish and the underparts very white.  Calls were frequently given, this was a sharp "stit", sometimes given once, sometimes given in rapid succession.  Close views of these beautiful Warblers showed them feeding upon Blackberries.
I finally departed this location to return to work just after 1500.   

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