Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Alderford Common and Claxton Marshes

Inspired by recent visits to New Buckenham Common, I have been researching other significant areas of common land in Norfolk. Many seem to be SSSIs, which made my task that much easier. Now, the patch comes first, but with some spare time at the weekend Debs and I headed out to Alderford Common near Lenwade to explore the site. Hawfinch have been reported from here according to a PDF I came across published by Natural England. We didn't manage any of these, but Bullfinch were easy to come by and always make a nice consolation. 4 Buzzard were mewing overhead and a Siskin passed through. We found at least 2 Badger setts and the site looks excellent for these mammals. An enjoyable hour here, we then headed to Whitwell Common which we couldn't find! If anyone has been and knows anything about access, do let me know. They have a Facebook page and I have received some help, but I guess not knowing the area at all puts me at a disadvantage.
Next commons to try- Swannington Upgate and Fritton.

This evening I popped into Claxton Marshes on the way home from work. Some real quality on offer, and I soon got onto my target bird if only briefly. A Short-eared Owl, missing from the list last year, but very much present this year thanks to the tip-off from Ben. Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and a Peregrine troubling the Lapwing over the river completed a Raptor fest. A male Stonechat was singing, furthering my belief that this species is indeed here year-round. All this in half an hour, and if this continues I won't be getting out to any Common Land any time soon!


  1. Hi Jim, I used to live in Reepham so know Whitwell Common well. It's marked on the ordnance survey map about 3km SSW of Reepham. Park in the small layby bu the phone box and just walk in! The phone box is also shown on the OS map. I'm down in south Norfolk these days and now close to Fritton Common (near Hempnall). Happy birding! Chris

  2. Great, thanks for that Chris. I'll find it next time!