Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Friday, 27 October 2017

Houghton-on-the-Hill and Little Cressingham, Norfolk

Brief Summary: A visit to Houghton early morning produced a number of small flocks of Wood Pigeons flying high and south.  7 Egyptian Geese flew purposefully east until lost to view, and a couple of flocks of Fieldfares passed over in a westerly heading.
A mid-afternoon visit to the Watton Brook valley at Little Cressingham produced impressive numbers of Fieldfares.

Houghton-on-the-Hill (early morning).
A bright, sunny dawn, however, some low cloud moved in from the north giving very light rainfall.
Giving the very bright dawn with little cloud, I think any small bird migration would have been out of visual range.  Despite this some interesting movements were seen including several small flocks of high-flying Wood Pigeons (largest flock 30+) in a southerly heading.  How strange it is that Wood Pigeons moving south this time of year always do so in a slow, unhurried fashion.
Also of interest was a small flock of 7 Egyptian Geese seen flying purposefully east.  These birds initially came into view at 0820, their passage continuing until 0826 when they were lost to view to the distant east.
Two small flocks of Fieldfares passed over in a westerly heading, the largest flock numbering about 50+ birds.
Also noted was a female Sparrowhawk, a couple of small flocks of Starlings west, Bullfinch, Goldcrest.  Also 3 Mute Swans passed over NW.

Watton Brook Valley (Little Cressingham)
Very bright conditions during the afternoon with some high wispy cloud.
A very interesting visit this afternoon with an impressive 200+ Fieldfares on permanent grassland adjacent to the Brook.  These recently arrived Thrushes were accompanied by a few Redwings, 50+ Starlings, and a few Goldfinches.  20+ Mistle Thrushes were present and in trees nearby, a few Siskins were seen.
Some of the 200+ Fieldfares at Little Cressingham 27th October
The Fieldfares seen here offered some good views in the bright light.  These beautifully marked Thrushes showed off their varied colours including a beautiful Ochre breast, Grey head and nape, brown wings and mantle, and large grey rump.  Their harsh"shack shack" calls cannot be confused with any other Thrush species.

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