Big families in the East

Having drawn a blank walking to the west of Hethersett recently in terms of new birding highlights and sightings of the broods of ducklings and goslings it was time to check out the Hethersett Hall lake. This was another scouting opportunity for the forthcoming Hethersett Hall and Church Farm Loop walk. I started out in Kissing Alley. The established hedges and woodland at this time of year form an all enveloping green tunnel,  which was alive with the sound and fluttering  of calling great tits and blue tits with large family parties suggesting a good year for rearing.

Kissing Alley

 Blackcaps and chiffchaffs provided a steady background accompaniment from  the woods as I walked to the lake. On the lake were a pair of canada geese with two good sized goslings. There was  a large brood of very young mallard  probably about 12 in number but impossible to count as they were whirring about the water surface like clockwork toys and again a good sign of successful breeding and rearing although it is early days for these vulnerable youngsters.

Canada GeeseAdult Canada geese

Other highlights for me this week have been young moorhens in the pond on Cedar Road and lesser black backed gulls on the Ben Bovis site following the earth movers as they would a ploughing tractor. Whilst I appreciate that large seagulls are not everyone’s favourite I cant help but be impressed with the way the birds have adapted to live around us rather than be pushed out by urbanisation.

Like the mallards I heard flying over the village this morning, and these I photographed earlier in the week,  I managed to have the last laugh this week and finally voted for a winner. The robin now the reinstated unofficial bird of the country following an inspiring contest  which has featured heavily in the national press today. Full results available here.


Guess which Mallard voted Robin…


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