Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Friday, 14 October 2016

Houghton-on-the-Hill, Norfolk 0715-0930

Dry at dawn and through the day although there was full cloud cover.  The wind was a cool, moderate easterly.  Today sees the last of these long-lasting easterlies with a swing to a milder south-westerly tomorrow.

4 Buzzards (including the beautifully marked juvenile)
1 Sparrowhawk
Redwings (arrivals and light passage)
Song Thrush - numerous
Blackbird (including migrant birds)
7 Long-tailed Tits
Goldcrests
Brambling - light westerly passage with an arrival of migrants in churchyard
Reed Bunting

From the start of my walk it was evident that the hedgerows held many Redwings, Song Thrushes, and a few Blackbirds. As I walked on, Thrushes were passing from one hedge to another where just a month ago, several species of Warblers were doing the same.  A line of trees held many Song Thrushes, their 'tik' calls being heard everywhere.
As I scoped a distant hedge-line, I could see 2 Buzzards, one on the hedge, one walking on the ground beneath, probably searching for invertebrates.  The hedge also held Blackbird (2+), Dunnock, and Robin.
At 0800 the first evidence of Bramblings on the move with birds heard initially in Woodland, then bird(s) heading west.
A passage Brambling at Houghton 14th October

Once again, I spent some time watching the stunning juvenile Buzzard, this beautifully marked bird was sitting in a distant Oak.  The head-markings on this Buzzard are highly distinctive and contrasting, the crown being lightly streaked brown, and pure white above and below the eye, and fore-crown.  The dark band through the eye gives a masked appearance..  For a short while the Buzzard sat facing me, and what stunning plumage it had with its white throat, breast (brown mottling on breast sides), underparts, and under-tail coverts.  Some brown mottling on the flanks extended and became lighter as it met on the under-parts.  A highly distinctive bird indeed.
A few small flocks of Redwing continued overhead in a westerly heading, also, 2 Redwings and 2 Blackbirds seen flying high east.
Back at my start point by the church an arrival of Bramblings present in nearby woodland, their distinctive, nasally "zweeeeu" call being repeated.  One probable female was seen in a Hawthorn where I obtained a record shot.   4 Bramblings then departed north-west.  As I was preparing to leave this site, a further 2 Bramblings arrived/passed overhead. 

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