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Dersingham bog and Brecks- any info would be ENORMOUSLY appreciated

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Old Saturday 25th January 2020, 22:00   #1
Gleb Berloff
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Dersingham bog and Brecks- any info would be ENORMOUSLY appreciated

Dear all,
I would be very grateful for information on a trip I am planning for next weekend. Currently torn between two possible locations.
I have recently heard that a place called Wolferton Triangle near King's Lynn is excellent for golden pheasant. I've seen those birds once before- and would like to add more pictures of them to my collection. Is Wolferton Triangle still any good for them?
I am a huge raptor enthusiast, and wonder if anything like that can be seen at Dersingham Bog. Maybe, judging by the nature, hen harrier or merlin? If not, what is of note in that place? The place looks immensely interesting...
In addition, I am very interested in four particular species in the Brecks.
For firecrest, is there a best and most reliable place to view them?
For lesser spotted woodpecker, I have heard that there is an excellent place for them in Santon Downham- can anyone be a little more specific than that? This bird I have seen lots and lots in Russia, but the fact that it is so rare here makes it a juicy target for my camera.
For great grey shrike, have there been any sightings in Thetford Forest recently? They are incredibly rare in Russia, and if it is present I would appreciate info to go out and photograph it. And are there any rough-legged buzzards?
And, finally, are there any reliable owl spots in the area of Santon Downham? I would like to add Tawny Owl to my collection...
I would appreciate info on those places, and also if you would like to provide recommendations, help me out choose a destination for birdwatching, the third in a chain of hugely-successful trips to Lakenheath Fen and Wicken Fen over the weekends.
Are any of the Brecks birds I mentioned at all photogenic?
Thank you!!!
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Old Sunday 26th January 2020, 08:14   #2
Sandra (Taylor)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gleb Berloff View Post
Dear all,
I would be very grateful for information on a trip I am planning for next weekend. Currently torn between two possible locations.
I have recently heard that a place called Wolferton Triangle near King's Lynn is excellent for golden pheasant. I've seen those birds once before- and would like to add more pictures of them to my collection. Is Wolferton Triangle still any good for them?
I am a huge raptor enthusiast, and wonder if anything like that can be seen at Dersingham Bog. Maybe, judging by the nature, hen harrier or merlin? If not, what is of note in that place? The place looks immensely interesting...
In addition, I am very interested in four particular species in the Brecks.
For firecrest, is there a best and most reliable place to view them?
For lesser spotted woodpecker, I have heard that there is an excellent place for them in Santon Downham- can anyone be a little more specific than that? This bird I have seen lots and lots in Russia, but the fact that it is so rare here makes it a juicy target for my camera.
For great grey shrike, have there been any sightings in Thetford Forest recently? They are incredibly rare in Russia, and if it is present I would appreciate info to go out and photograph it. And are there any rough-legged buzzards?
And, finally, are there any reliable owl spots in the area of Santon Downham? I would like to add Tawny Owl to my collection...
I would appreciate info on those places, and also if you would like to provide recommendations, help me out choose a destination for birdwatching, the third in a chain of hugely-successful trips to Lakenheath Fen and Wicken Fen over the weekends.
Are any of the Brecks birds I mentioned at all photogenic?
Thank you!!!
There are a few really helpful books on where to see certain birds in Norfolk. Think one is by Neil Glenn (Glynn?) and there are others.

Sandra
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Old Sunday 26th January 2020, 10:48   #3
Louis_P
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I'm afraid the Golden Pheasant have died out. I believe Dersingham Bog does get Hen Harrier and Merlin at dusk.

I would recommend Lynford Arboretum, walk South from the car park and Firecrest can often be found beside the path anywhere between the car park and the paddock from what I've heard. The paddock is at the bottom of the slope, if you follow the main path. The paddock is the best spot for Hawfinch in Norfolk, so is also well worth a look. If you like to take photos, you will love Lynford Arboretum, as there are many feeders and many of the birds are very approachable.

Regarding the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, walk down to the river and hope for the best (you're unlikely to get any good photos, even if you're lucky enough to see them).

There are no Great Grey Shrikes I've heard about this winter (except a few short-staying individuals).

I don't know of any good owl spots in the Brecks, although others might.

There's only one Rough-legged Buzzard wintering in Norfolk this year, and it's at Wells on the N Norfolk coast.

Hope this helps,
Louis

Last edited by Louis_P : Sunday 26th January 2020 at 11:34.
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Old Sunday 26th January 2020, 16:35   #4
Gleb Berloff
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Originally Posted by Louis_P View Post
I'm afraid the Golden Pheasant have died out. I believe Dersingham Bog does get Hen Harrier and Merlin at dusk.

I would recommend Lynford Arboretum, walk South from the car park and Firecrest can often be found beside the path anywhere between the car park and the paddock from what I've heard. The paddock is at the bottom of the slope, if you follow the main path. The paddock is the best spot for Hawfinch in Norfolk, so is also well worth a look. If you like to take photos, you will love Lynford Arboretum, as there are many feeders and many of the birds are very approachable.

Regarding the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, walk down to the river and hope for the best (you're unlikely to get any good photos, even if you're lucky enough to see them).

There are no Great Grey Shrikes I've heard about this winter (except a few short-staying individuals).

I don't know of any good owl spots in the Brecks, although others might.

There's only one Rough-legged Buzzard wintering in Norfolk this year, and it's at Wells on the N Norfolk coast.

Hope this helps,
Louis
Thank you very much, Louis!
That's a shame about the golden pheasants. But it is a delight to hear that they raptors still roost there. Do you have any specific info on how to view this roost, or are they all over the place?
In regards to hen harriers, the reason I would like nice views is because yesterday I visited Wicken Fen and managed to get only one picture of one very distant male. I would like a better one, honestly, than a grey smudge way in the distance. As such- I wonder, can they be observed here earlier in the day?
I have also heard of another place called Roydon Common NNR which is good for them- which would you recommend? I don't have a car, and so am asking about spots I know I can reach by bus going to King's Lynn.
I've heard about Lynford Arboretum many times. I'll give the place a try someday on the week beginning Mon 10th Feb, as I know there is a very good bus, and I'll just walk back to Brandon.
In regards to the woodpeckers, I can also give that place a try. I know all about unreliable sightings, thank you for the warning!!
I also know of the RLB at Wells, but will have immense difficulty reaching the place, but maybe will try Mon-Fri WB 10th Feb. do you know when they usually leave for their breeding grounds?
Just so I know for the future- is there a place you recommend in TF for goshawk?
Thanks for the info! Much appreciated :)
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Old Sunday 26th January 2020, 18:31   #5
Louis_P
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I'm afraid I've never been to Dersingham or Roydon, I'm just going by what I've heard. Roydon is just as good, if not better, as Dersingham.

The Rough-legged Buzzard should still be present when you plan to go (of course it's not guaranteed though). If you can wait another year, there may be some more accessible ones next year as this year is a bad year for Rough-legged Buzzard.

I'm afraid I don't know of any Goshawk sights in the public domain, although they are quite widespread in the Brecks from what I gather.

Last edited by Louis_P : Monday 27th January 2020 at 06:16.
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Old Monday 27th January 2020, 13:20   #6
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I think you need to recognise that some of your requests are getting a little too specific with respect to birds of prey locations - even if your interest is entirely beneficial, people will naturally be a little wary of giving too detailed a response on a public forum, because of the threat of illegal persecution and also disturbance.

Hen harrier roosts are a good case in point - I believe some have been targeted by shooters, and giving away specific locations where you can get close to birds approaching or leaving the roost isn't a good idea. There is also the issue of disturbing roost sites by too close an approach for photography.

There are well publicised sites where you can see rare raptors in UK without causing disturbance - Wykeham Forest in North Yorkshire for example will give you both goshawk and honey buzzard. When I was there last year views of both were very distant, way too far for photography, although there are photos posted which shows you can be lucky and get a close flypast. There's also a guided goshawk walk at Kielder Forest in Northumberland which takes place in the spring display season - again I understand that this is structured in such a way that avoids disturbance.
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Old Monday 27th January 2020, 16:13   #7
Louis_P
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I think you need to recognise that some of your requests are getting a little too specific with respect to birds of prey locations - even if your interest is entirely beneficial, people will naturally be a little wary of giving too detailed a response on a public forum, because of the threat of illegal persecution and also disturbance.

Hen harrier roosts are a good case in point - I believe some have been targeted by shooters, and giving away specific locations where you can get close to birds approaching or leaving the roost isn't a good idea. There is also the issue of disturbing roost sites by too close an approach for photography.

There are well publicised sites where you can see rare raptors in UK without causing disturbance - Wykeham Forest in North Yorkshire for example will give you both goshawk and honey buzzard. When I was there last year views of both were very distant, way too far for photography, although there are photos posted which shows you can be lucky and get a close flypast. There's also a guided goshawk walk at Kielder Forest in Northumberland which takes place in the spring display season - again I understand that this is structured in such a way that avoids disturbance.
Well said kb57. I've only given away details that can easily be found elsewhere online for the reasons you mention.
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Old Monday 27th January 2020, 17:28   #8
Steve Lister
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The Norfolk coastal bus service goes straight past the spot where people park to watch the Rough-legged Buzzard west of Wells so it should not be difficult for you to get there from Hunstanton or King's Lynn.

Good luck.
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Old Thursday 30th January 2020, 21:18   #9
Gleb Berloff
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Noted and appreciated. I understand about this- in Russia it is the same, where people disturb cranes in a certain reserve leading to photography being forbidden in that area.
However, I never disturbed any bird. In fact, the fact I managed to observe a golden oriole and take several pictures of it without flying away suggests otherwise. My family is just as careful- they told me of a white stork nest near their house, and that stork was coming to breed there for a few years already. As my camera has a powerful zoom, there is no need to approach and disturb birds. If you look at my gallery you might notice the bad quality of most images. This was because they were taken a very long way off. I look for a location so that I know for sure where to look, but not approach the area. In fact, Roydon Common is a huge mire, and the NWT told me about prime places from which the roost is watched. Mostly from a car park.
The only birds I have ever disturbed were 2 cuckoos, one because I walked under a tree it was sitting on as I didn't see it, fixated on a red-footed falcon, and the other because it landed in front of me. And also two long-eared owl, when they literally began flying around me as I walked down a road.
The reason I ask or asked about the bog, Roydon Common, Wicken Fen, is because I have no car, and try to visit places with public transport. Thetford Forest is excellent in this regard. As for Goshawks, I observed one very close up once in Moscow. It literally appeared in the trees on one side of a heavily-used path, flew right overhead and dissapeared without stopping into the trees on the other side. I know the 'drill'. I always approach carefully- I got within 10-15 meters of a kestrel pair once, and they didn't even look at me.
In fact, I probably will be unable to get to both Roydon Common and Wells due to train disruptions, so will focus on Thetford Forest, Bristol and Wicken Fen as well as Lakenheath Fen. Might still try Dersingham Bog for nightjars, though. The sites I ask about are well-publicised, and I mean the birds no harm. Its not like I asked for GPS coords for a goshawk nest, or the breeding ground of a Montagu's harrier.
But, anyway, thanks, and I admire you for trying to protect the birds.
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