This page of walks covers some birding hot-spots that are probably not in the guide books but may be of interest to birders able to travel beyond the village boundaries. If you have any feedback to add to the walks including updates on the route or local birds seen please add a comment. If you have any ideas of other walks for inclusion please email them to me or add a comment.
Health and safety: The following advice guide should be read before undertaking any walking as the site and its editors accept no liability for people who aren’t able to walk safely.
The first walk of this series scores low on the quality of the walk but high in terms of birding highlights particularly at the end, at Common Farm with its speciality tree sparrows as well as a host of other birds. The walk is not for the frail or the very young. a lack of clear footpaths a couple of poorly maintained stiles coupled with rough ground and two small ditches to leap or scramble over make it a challenge. The alternative but less adventurous is to drive to common farm and park in a narrow lane and watch the birds possibly from the comfort of your car also possibly to the annoyance of the residents.
1) Park safely in the middle of the village of Bunwell and head for Rectory Lane. This stretch of the walk is easy with an opportunity to see both hedge sparrows and house sparrows to compare with the treats you will see later The hedges will be brimming with all the tits and finches as well as wrens and collared doves.
2) As you pass the last house on the right there is a signed public footpath which takes you between the established gardens and an are a of rough ground. The hedges and brambles are hiding places for pheasant partridge and a host of woodland birds including great tits and robins and Jay. The rough ground attracts blackbirds and winter thrushes and the fields in this area can contain high number or redwing and fieldfare in the winter months. At the end of the hedgrow the public path carries straight on across the field until you reach a ditch where you turn left.
3) at this point of the walk there is a small bridge across a ditch
which hold enough water to entice birds as large as mallard. The large trees on this stretch could hold woodpigeon or linnets or greenfinch. What you will notice is the big skies at this point and the rolling horizon gives you a chance to stop and watch for corvids or raptors.
4) The walk gets tricky at this point as it reaches a small ditch next to an area of bushes and a small pond which will hold Moorhen and hedgerow birds including the ever present chaffinch. There is then a slightly larger ditch to jump across and you are in a filed which you have to follow the boundary on your left for a couple of hundred meters.
5) After a walk which brings you level with a converted barn to the North you need to follow whatever path you can find to the barn. Currently this is a set of tracks in the corn field which is full of skylarks. Once you get to the House in the distance follow the filed round the right hand side boundary.
6) You will arrive at a small bridge and dilapidated stile which takes you into a rough grazing field which is a good place to see species such as kestrel and swallow in summer. Head across the field at 45 degrees to the left towards a gate and an overgrown stile. Then use gate or stile to access the lane which will takes you past a gamebird rearing copse ond onto the final destination common farm itself.
7) As you walk towards the farm the lane is full of birdlife flocks of chaffinch and yellowhammers as well as pheasant, blackbird blue tits and great tits should all be obvious. The jewel in the crown is the tree in the front garden of the farm. I am fairly sure Carlsberg don’t do trees full of bird feeders but if they did this would surely be it. If you haven’t seen them already just wait quietly and the pretty chestnut capped tree sparrows will put in an appearance as stars of the swirling flocks of birds.