KEN HILL WOOD
An overlooked gem with a well-known neighbour
When habitats are so close together, you should give yourself time to cover all of them in one day. This wood seems to be neglected by birdwatchers, with many visiting Snettisham RSPB and Snettisham Coastal Park. Like many areas, dog-walking is a big thing here, but should be no problem for the birdwatcher. In fact, for the young trees, dog walking can keep the deer from using the area too much. This site has been a great place to find Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, so listen out for calls and always check tit flocks in winter, as this small woodpecker can travel with the ‘gang’. Green Woodpeckers are very vocal, but the open areas can be a place to get a view of this species, while Great Spotted Woodpeckers will roam the whole woodland area. Wood Lark is going to be found in open areas, so listen out for that song. Crossbills are another bird to hear before you see them. I was amazed by the sheer number of holes in the quarry used by a number of solitary bees and wasps. Here, birds like Spotted Flycatcher will use this food source in summer. The edges of the wood are ideal for checking for hunting raptors like Hen Harrier and Short-eared and Long-eared Owl in winter, and Buzzard and Red Kite in summer. Winter also sees large numbers of especially Pink-footed Geese traveling back and forward to their roost on the Wash. Having the height makes the wood a great place to watch the skeins. In Beech mast years look out for Brambling. Some rarities have been found here like Yellow-browed, Pallas’s and Barred Warblers, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart, Firecrest with lots of migrating Goldcrests and even Red-breasted Flycatcher.