Breckland Birder

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

Friday, 10 February 2017

Bramblings near Little Cressingham

This afternoon between 1545 and 1600 I visited a very large maize strip close to 'The Arms' which every winter attracts good  numbers of Finch and Bunting species.  Conditions were overcast with very low light and with a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius.
It was clear as I approached the location that good numbers of passerine species were present, in fact the first birds I noticed was a couple of Goldcrests foraging close by in trees.
Large numbers of Finch species were flying between a Larch belt and the maize crop, and in a short while I was able to estimate that 200+ Bramblings were present.  I was able to watch the Bramblings through binoculars and despite low light it was possible to see the white underparts and narrow white rumps as they dropped en masse into the maize.  These Bramblings would gather in the safety of the Larch belt and again, despite low light, the salient features of these birds were seen.  The males were clearly darker around the head and had brighter orange breasts and scapulars, the females much paler and less bright.  The distinctive, nasally "zweeeeu" call was often heard.
Smaller numbers of Chaffinches and Reed Buntings were present within this large flock. 

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