Cockley Cley and Wayland Wood, 23 March 2018

It's such a sad state of affairs but these days in Norfolk (and elsewhere no doubt) Willow Tit is an extremely hard to come by bird. In the past we used to see them regularly in the Brecks, the Upper Wensum Valley, Sculthorpe and also at Syderstone Common. I'd not seen one for at least 5 years but they have just about hung on in the Cockley Cley area. Ashley Banwell has been seeing them reasonably frequently and has done some sterling work in setting up 2 feeding stations along ride FR110 near the village. It was here I went this morning. It has to be said they are not easy here at all. There was no singing or calling going on today probably due to a brisk breeze blowing the treetops around and not much sun. In my 3 hour vigil from 09.00 to 12.00 I managed just a couple of brief views at one of the feeders where they visited the black sunflower seed but shot off again in an instant. As a bird alighted on the bird table I took just one shot of it which came out respectably. Despite the pine habitat I was surprised to see several Marsh Tits and there was a regular flow of Nuthatches, Coal Tits, Blue Tits and Great Tits plus a couple of loitering Siskins. A displaying Common Buzzard was overhead and on the walk back 2 Long-tailed Tits completed the set!

En-route to Cockley Cley I had a Little Owl near Great Cressingham.

If you go looking for these birds please bring a supply of black sunflower seeds to keep the feeding station well stocked.

 Willow Tit

Marsh Tit


 Coal Tit

With some time to spare I had ample opportunity to visit Wayland Wood for the first time in many years. Here my target was Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem my first botanising of the year. With precise directions from 2 contacts I was able to find them with ease. There were c20 flowering plants in one area, whereas 3 days ago there was apparantly only a singleton.

Yearlist = 159

              Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem

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