Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Friday, 4 November 2016

Stunning Autumn.

An early start this morning for a visit close to Thompson, Norfolk.  I arrived just prior to sunrise to the call of a Tawny Owl.  Brief early morning sunshine was soon replaced by cloud and rain showers, some heavy and prolonged.
Walking close to some heathland I was totally amazed by the colours presented to me in the early morning light, most especially the exquisite bronzes of Beech trees.  Varying cloud and some rain soon passed over and light faded somewhat, despite this the majesty of the Beech trees brightened the dullest of conditions.
With these stunning Beech trees came some wonderful birds.  Bramblings arrived in the canopy where I watched them expertly, and quite acrobatically, extract seeds from their husks.  In total, some 40+ Bramblings were present and I was lucky enough to get a photograph of a stunning male sitting exposed in the treetop in full, early morning sunlight.
Stunning Beech trees near Thompson, Norfolk 4th Nov.
As well as Bramblings, this area of Beech and surrounding mixed woodland hosted both Redwings and Fieldfares, both species typically mobile, although one flock of 100+ Fieldfare included some Redwings, plundered fruits on a lone Hawthorn.
Brambling in top of one of the many Beech trees
Common species featured also in this area, these included several Chaffinches feeding amongst leaf litter, also Coal, Blue, and Great Tits were seen.
Redwing (juvenile) at Thompson 4th Nov.
What a stunning bird the Redwing is with its striking head pattern, this feature alone separates this Thrush from any other seen in the British Isles.  Many Redwings were present today, sometimes mixed with Fieldfares, where they fed upon mostly Hawthorn berries.
The Redwing pictured here is a juvenile, this bird is aged by the pale tips to the greater coverts which appear to form a broken white bar on the wing.
Fieldfares in a Hawthorn...can you see the Redwings
Walking back following my visit to the wonderful Beech woodland, a flock of 100+ Fieldfares emerged with many alighting in a lone Hawthorn to plunder berries.  With them was a few Redwings.
Finally, a distant male Stonechat launched itself from its perch, climbed to gather a fly presumably, and then returned to more or less the same perch.
What a magical morning for autumn colours and birds this was.

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