Undercover operations

      One of the local farmers has decided to leave the cutting of the reeds in the dyke and on the dyke sides until the early spring when the winter visitors have flown back to their gradually warming summer homes. Because of this simple decision snipe and woodcock have already taken up residence on the dyke sides, as have the wild duck.
      No doubt the wild duck will become steadily more evident because of the shelter and security provided by the reeds and the water as the dykes gradually fill with rain water during the winter months.

      The game cover planting that comprises a mix of maize and sorghum next to the three orchards and a small dyke already has a really good mixed flock of cock and hen pheasants in residence, there are partridges beginning to colonise the planting too taking advantage of the food and shelter. I have a feeling that there are quite a few casseroles living in there.
      The seed heads on all of the game cover planting and the self-set native thistles are frequented by lots of LBJs and the only flocks of birds that I can easily recognise, the goldfinches, they swarm all over the two or three acres of cover planting feeding on the seeds.
       As the winter gets a grip I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more bird activity in the cover particularly if we finally get some really harsh winter weather in West Norfolk.