Posts Tagged ‘Breckland


Breckland Round-up

Although I only advertised one trip to Breckland this month, I ended up doing several due to demand.

I thought I’d give a bit of a round-up for all my customers.

Some of the classics gave excellent views; Goshawk were not difficult at all again this year and Woodlark could often be heard singing before we left the car! Lesser spotted Woodpecker were more difficult – unusually when we saw them they were silent and when we could hear them they were so far in dense woodland we couldn’t see them. Firecrests were there but not yet as active as they can be. Hawfinch didn’t show on all occassions and were in relatively small numbers compared with last year. I wonder why that is when numbers are seemingly everywhere else in the county after a continental influx. Crossbills are in short supply but again we did see them although they are a very nomadic species. A bonus this year is of course was the Parrot Crossbill flock that has been floating around Santon Downham. Starling murmurations were at their peak last week – I couldn’t be sure but I reckon on Sunday last we watched close to 500,000 birds coming in to roost right at the side of us. The sight, sound … and smell of them will live long in the memory. All good value birds with a few Otters, Hares, Roe Deer and Reeve’s Muntjac all putting in an appearance. Rabbit numbers seem to have decreased everywhere of late. RHD2, the new viral strain from the continent, has obviously taken a hold. I do hope this does not have an effect on the Stone Curlew population which thrive on the rabbit grazed short swards of our heaths.

Anyways, all that aside, I thought I’d show another photo of the Parrot Crossbills … just because I like them so much!

Next years tour to Breckland is already on the website – Book Early!


A Pleasant Pheasant

In the past I’ve alluded to the fact that some birds we encounter in the UK are not officially recognised as having a sustainable breeding population. They’re not on the British list; they escape or are introduced and just die out.

One hanger on is the Reeve’s Pheasant. Around Breckland in South Norfolk there are small pockets of breeding birds. I was told of one such population I didn’t know of (thanks Mick) around two to three miles from one I did know. Whether these ’new’ birds are the result of an increasing spreading population or are recently introduced birds I do not know. One thing is for sure, they are beautiful creatures and may one day be officially recognised as a British bird despite their Asian origins.

Reeve's Pheasant



They don’t call the Lesser spotted Woodpecker ‘Ladderback’ for nothing. This uncommon tiny sparrow sized woodpecker inhabits the very outer branches in the tops of tall trees. Its black and white patterned back – the ladder back – is surprisingly well camouflaged. February and March are good months to find them before the trees ‘leaf up’ and they are still calling as they mark out their territories. As well as Lesser spots … Goshawk, Hawfinch, Firecrest and Woodlark are all possible on a Birdwatching Tour to the south of Norfolk at this time of the year. If you are interested in a day out give me a call or send me a mail.

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Jun 2023


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