Percy update


Not a very clear shot, but spotted Percy the peacock this morning….his tail feathers are growing back beautifully ?





Bird Update February 2016


Hi all
I thought I saw one the other week flying away but now I have a photo of a Reed Bunting on our bird table. I have never seen one even on the circular walk so in 5 years and so am very pleased.

In addition we now have Siskins feeding around the village. If you want them to visit your garden you will need niger seeds. They are a winter visiting Finch and could stay with us till early spring.

We also have a possible Redpoll sighting by Ray Grant up Mill Lane.

Kind regards

Jerry Bart

The Old Mill The Street Honingham Norfolk NR9 5BL

House Martins

Jerry reminds us that there is a desperate need for more house martin nests, and they are now available on Amazon. An ideal Christmas present!

Percy the Peacock

Sally Blyth reports:-

Our resident peacock is still here! Ha hasn’t been calling for a while and has lost all his beautiful tail feathers, but I am assured that both of these things are normal. He still roosts in the shrine oak tree at night. He spends a lot of time in our garden pecking at the windfall apples – and also in our neighbour’s garden – pecking at their cabbages!

He loves mealworms and will probably have to have a lot of them if he stays here for the winter.

Tweet tweet

There is now a mobile phone App costing just £3.99 called The Warblr. Using it, you just point your mobile in the direction of a birdsong, and the App suggests what bird it is. It has over 200 songs in its database, and is claimed to be 95% accurate.

I wonder if it will be able to identify Percy!!


House Martin Survey

Honingham was randomly chosen as one of the villages to be surveyed for a BTO House Martin survey this summer. The BTO volunteer, Graham Appleton, was pleased to find one pair in a special nesting box at Brook Cottage but sad not to find more. Talking to residents, as he walked around the village, he learned that there used to be more nests; one person suggested that the loss of cows (and mud) may have made Honingham a less desirable area than it once was. Perhaps we could help Honingham’s House Martins by putting up more artificial nests or by building a mud-puddle next spring? On the plus side, Graham was delighted to see so many Swifts and House Sparrows.

Jerry Bart our local birder suggested that we should ask as many villagers as possible who like wild life to consider putting at least one artificial House Martin nest up for next season. He has searched the internet and the RSPB do a good one for £13.99 and there are others on Amazon for £9.99. See the links below- copy & paste into your browser.

Obviously the young of our ONLY two resident House Martins currently have nowhere else to nest in Honingham.

Hopefully with a few residents support they will have a home for next year.


Jerry Bart

The Old Mill The Street Honingham Norfolk NR9 5BL





Bird update July 2015

Just an update on the wildlife this month.

On 3rd July I heard the whistle call of a buzzard and looked up. Very high were two buzzards circling and diving in courtship displays.


Grabbing my always handy binoculars I also saw a sparrow hawk on the same thermal with a very slender looking bird of prey which was unmistakeably a hobby.


This is only my second Honingham sighting of this magnificent  bird in the 5 years at the Old Mill




About the size of a kestrel with long pointed wings, reminiscent of a giant swift. It has a dashing flight and will chase large insects and small birds like swallows and martins. Prey is often caught in its talons and transferred to its beak in flight. Can accelerate rapidly in flight and is capable of high-speed aerial manoeuvres.


Other highlights of the month are three sightings of a kingfisher flying west up the river and today a very large grey heron in our garden.




End of July report.

All the best

Jerry Bart


The Old Mill The Street Honingham Norfolk NR9 5BL



Bird Watch December 2013

Jerry reports that he has seen a flock of 300 Golden Plovers in the field beside Mattishall Road, opposite the new lake. He has sent these pictures:- IMG_1907 (1)IMG_1908

Bird update – June Highlights

The month of June is very exciting, with many birds fledging their young. The baby moorhens on the mill race have gone downstream somewhere, but were replaced by 3 Aylesbury ducks in our garden at The Old Mill. These are the first I have seen in Honingham – however their wings were clipped so they appear to have escaped from a collection.


Here is a bit of background from the internet…

The Aylesbury duck is a breed of domesticated duck, bred mainly for its meat and appearance. It is a large duck with pure white plumage, a pink bill, orange legs & feet, an unusually large keel, and a horizontal stance with its body parallel to the ground. The precise origins of the breed are unclear, but raising white ducks became popular in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire in the 18th century owing to the demand for white feathers as a filler for quilts. Over the 19th century selective breeding for size, shape and colour led to the Aylesbury duck.

Rare Birds Highlights in Norfolk….

I managed to get 2 new ticks in my log in June – A Roller near Holt and a Rose Coloured Starling at Wells. I took the photo below from about half a mile away from the Roller. This is a stunning blue bird that lives in the Mediterranean and southern Europe.


Locally a Cuckoo was heard but not seen, and it seems that our regular Spotted Flycatchers have failed to return here to breed.

Jerry Bart

Not so silly? – update on the Moorhen at Mill House

Jerry’s moorhen has successfully laid a clutch of eggs, which are now hatching.