Breckland Birder

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

Monday, 6 February 2017

Little Cressingham, Norfolk

Following a morning of thick fog, the afternoon saw clearer conditions. It remained dry with a high of 6 degrees Celsius. 
This afternoon I visited a location very reliable for Finch and Bunting species, reliable because of the maize and wide weedy strips which have been a feature of the winter landscape at this site for many years now.
As expected this afternoon, Bramblings were seen by the maize strip, a food source which will keep this species fed throughout the winter months.
Brambling (male) Little Cressingham 06/02/17
This Brambling is a male bird.  The dark head is currently in winter plumage, however, by the end of April the head will assume a solid black colour and is sharply demarcated.  The beautiful Orange breast and scapulars on this male bird are much brighter than the paler Orange of the female bird, one of which was also seen today.  The females head was also much paler, and indeed remains this way into spring.
Bramblings are gregarious birds and freely mix with other Finches and Buntings in the winter months as they search the woodland floor for food, in this case, corn from the maize and other weed seeds.
The site visited today has held mixed Finches and Buntings in their hundreds.

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