As predicted a couple of weeks ago winter visitors are arriving locally. On Wednesday morning the tell tale sound of the redwing over the recreation ground alerted me to a small flock of about 25 birds high overhead. Their high pitched call (click for link) can only be confused with the contact call of a blackbird locally and is a giveaway when heard often from a flock of the birds, My views as usual were of a lot of starling sized flappy blobs in the sky moving between patches of trees. Fortunately they do occasionally settle particularly after feasting on berries and you can get a reasonable photo as the capture below shows.
Sometime after when I had a chance to go out on the west Hethersett loop dodging between squally showers I made a trip with the intention of catching up with the birds again. Initially the only birds were strings of jackdaws and crows crossing in front of the storm fronts. The winter wheat was a verdant contrast to the black sky and was the show ground for a number of displaying male pheasants. The numbers of these game birds are clearly at an early Autumn high. Also about in noticeable numbers were the flocks of long-tailed tits who’s movements were mixed with a sprinkling of blue tits and great tits.
A quick scan of the Great Melton Reservoir picked up another couple of species which had given away their presence by their call firstly moorhen and secondly and again in higher than usual number mallards now starting to show off their winter finery. Magpie, jay, robin, blackbird, all put in an appearance shortly afterwards along with a a few woodpigeons all busy feeding in the hedgerows. Then the seep seep calls came from high above the reservoir tree line and a flock of 18 redwings circled the fields a couple of times often with a couple of birds performing aerobatic maneuvers in amongst the flock presumably playing or pairbonding. Hopefully soon we will see some of our other winter visitors including the larger fieldfare and maybe a flyover by some pink footed geese recently seen as close as the UEA.