Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Monday, 11 September 2017

Lucky Blue Tit

        An early morning visit to Hilborough (mixed woodland habitat), followed by a short visit to the Watton Brook valley at Little Cressingham to check for evidence of migrants.  The strong westerly wind did not bode well for migrants in the valley, however, I did have a very close encounter with a hunting Hobby.
        • Woodlark at Hilborough
        • Hobby at Little Cressingham 
        A dawn visit to young Pine woodland compartments at Hilborough produced a constantly calling juvenile Buzzard perched in one of the windrows, whilst overhead a single Red Kite soared.
        Between the lines of Pine trees a single Woodlark flew up announcing itself with a sweet "tooloeet" call.

        Little Cressingham (Watton Brook valley)
        In the Watton Brook valley at Little Cressingham, the mostly exposed landscape offered little shelter from the strong westerly wind.  A flock of around 12 Goldfinches were seen in the weedy banks of the brook with many birds on teasel from which they were seen to extract seeds from the prickly heads.  A single Swallow was seen nearby perched for sometime on wire fencing, a resting passage bird perhaps..
        A Blue Tit was watched crossing the Brook in front of me when in a flash a Hobby stooped on it but just missed the lucky Tit by inches.  This all happened no more than 15 feet from me, the Hobby passed like lightning and produced a sound similar to a stick being swiped fast through the air.  The Hobby continued east along the valley.  The attack by the Hobby was so quick that I feel certain the Blue Tit was not aware of what was happening.

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