I have had a couple of brief opportunities in the last week to check out the changing seasons in West Hethersett and the birdlife has now switched to full Spring mode. Gone are the Flock of Egyptian geese and their accompaniment of black headed Gulls sweeping the fields. As I started from Little Melton church I was enjoying the chorus of the usual chaffinch and great tits now interspersed by chiffchaffs when I heard the sound of honking geese. I was just in time to watch a canada goose and a greylag splash down in the fishing lake. They appeared to be a pair and it will be interesting to see what young hybrid geese turn up in the months to come.
A small flock of Greylags such as the one pictured above were in the pasture land to the south of Market Lane at the weekend.
Just after the Geese I thought I heard a phrase of blackcap song but stopped and heard no more. Further round by the Fishing lake there was a much clearer burst of song although almost totally drowned out by goldcrests which are at there most vociferous at the moment. I pressed on to the pit but nothing here but chiffchaff and chaffinch. On my return journey towards Great Melton Church I had reached the small pond which was home to a moorhen when I heard the blackcap clearly but despite singing boldly he stayed frustratingly out of sight. This is another early record for me locally and hopefully they will be soon joined by willow warbler.
The photo of a rather more revealing male blackcap above is courtesy of Barry Woodhouse whose fine work with a camera bolted on to a telescope is worth checking out at the following:
My walk was topped off with a soaring and calling buzzard over Little Melton Church. In other local news the ring ouzels I mentioned in a post last week were seen today at the UEA in the Gorse bushes over looking the rugby fields.