Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

North Pickenham, Norfolk 0530-0730

As promised, the weather this morning has turned much colder.  Dawn was clear with a frost in sheltered parts, however, the wind was the main feature of the weather, a fresh northerly which probably made it felt colder than the 0 degrees Celsius.  Light was very good with strong early morning sunshine.
Despite the cold conditions my walk produced 2 singing Lesser Whitethroats and 3 singing Whitethroats.  Several Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were heard and seen.
Whitethroat singing at North Pickenham 25th April

A check of paddocks for possible Ring Ouzel produced a pair of food gathering Mistle Thrushes, Song Thrush, and a late Fieldfare.
With slightly warming temperatures a pair of Snipe became active with flight display and song heard.
Shelduck at North Pickenham 25th April.  Note the red knob on the male birds forehead.
4 Shelduck arrived and duly circled over me a few times, their striking plumage looking beautiful in the early morning light.  The photograph here shows a pair of Shelduck, the male distinguishable by the red-knob on its forehead.  If my mind serves me right I believe 'Sheld' part of the name is an old English word meaning 'Pied', which clearly suits the birds striking appearance.
Shelduck are beginning to feature once again in the Brecks having returned from their moulting grounds in the Wadden Sea off the Northern Coast of Germany.

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