Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Saturday, 5 August 2017

North Pickenham, Norfolk (Evidence of passage picking up)

This morning I visited Houghton-on-the-Hill, my migration watch-point.  My previous visit was on 28th July when there was little evidence of passage, however, this morning saw an increase in numbers of Warblers, most notably Whitethroats, which were found at various habitats in the area.  Although no great numbers of Whitethroats were seen, numbers are an increase on my most previous visit.  Numbers will become significantly greater as we progress through August.
The mornings first Whitethroat was found in Elder scrub where it was seen taking berries, another bird was seen searching a hedgerow nearby.  One was also seen skulking in cover in a churchyard.
Blackcaps were also seen and heard including a lovely male taking Elderberries.  Female and juvenile Blackcaps were also seen.  Also seen in the same Elder was a single Lesser Whitethroat, also feeding upon berries.
Red Kite near North Pickenham 5th August
Other species seen in the churchyard included a number of Blue Tits passing through, Coal Tit, 2 Nuthatches, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, and Bullfinch.  Overhead, a single Red Kite soared just above the tree canopy.
Interestingly, a single, small shrub bathed in early morning, warm sunshine held a single Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Blue and Great Tit, Chaffinch, a single Greenfinch, Robin (adult and juvenile), and Dunnock.  The Lesser Whitethroat sat preening for a while, the bright white underparts particularly conspicuous in the sunshine.
During the breeding season, Warblers are insectivorous birds, however, their diet changes now very much to various soft fruits which will become abundant in the next few weeks.  These fruits are taken in order to build energy reserves in readiness for their long migration south.

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