Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Friday, 1 December 2017

Thompson Water, Norfolk, 27th November.

The day dawned wet with spells of rain.  Light was poor due to thick cloud cover, however, it remained quite mild.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust has bought land immediately adjacent to the eastern side of Thompson Water, what an excellent acquisition to add to this fantastic Breckland site.  In time the land will provide habitat for notable Breckland species.

A good species list was gathered as follows:

Mute Swan
32+ Greylag Geese
20+ Shoveler
12+ Wigeon
1 Grey Heron
4 Water Rails
3 Kingfisher
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Marsh Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Coal Tit
2 Cetti's Warblers (singing birds)

All too often in recent winters I have visited Thompson Water to check on Duck numbers, sometimes, the water is devoid of birds whilst other times sees good numbers.  No Teal were seen on this visit, however, harsh weather in Europe could see three-figure numbers of this small Duck.
Today, I had some good views of Shoveler, the males bottle green heads, spatulate bills, and large chestnut flank patch renders this species identifiable at range.
Shoveler on Thompson Water 27th November
For me, one of our most attractive Dusk species is the Wigeon, (of which 12+ seen today) the male has a beautiful chestnut head with a golden stripe on its fore-crown.  The call of Wigeon is beautiful, a whistling "weeeeooo", this was heard often today.
The fantastic, thick, swampy, Sallow/Reed fringes along the west side of the water held at least 4 Water Rails, a couple of birds were very close, their squealing calls with elements of grunting, was clearly heard.   Partial views of two Water Rails were had when they had a bit of a bust up.
Two male Cetti's Warblers gave their explosive songs from dense water-side habitat.

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