Highlight of Felbrigg WeBS count – four Grey Heron touched down before flying on west
Yesterday I was up early – first to check on the Peregrine situation, followed by a walk along the cliffs from Cromer to Overstrand, returning along the beach. The Peregrines were sat on the pinnacles of Cromer church from 06.30 at least. They were well observed by resident and visiting birders throughout the day – last reported at dusk. My walk to Overstrand and back produced very little except my first NENBC Fulmar of the year and a metal ringed Great Black-backed Gull sat on the groynes. In the afternoon I walked back through Felbrigg, where the birding highlight was six Buzzard and a Red Kite over the eastern boundary of the park. One of the Buzzards was the strikingly white wintering bird which shows a distinct pale rump! This morning it was WeBS count. After a cold night, with a touch of ground frost, the early morning sun and clear light made for some excellent birding. I’d finished my duck count by the time I got to the south east corner of the lake – I scrutinised the ‘corner Oak’ and sure enough the Little Owl was sat-out sunning itself. Three Pied Wagtail along the dam wall were joined briefly by a female Grey Wagtail on the newly created spillway. In the shelter belt, by the viewing screen, several Nuthatch and a single Marsh Tit were waiting to be fed. It was whilst I was watching these that I heard the raucous call of Grey Heron. Nothing unusual there I thought until I looked up and saw four birds circling the Cormorant roost, before flying on west. I don’t remember ever seeing this many together at Felbrigg before. Further along the trail I looked up at a pale bird in a tall Oak, only to see a superb male Brambling, which gradually made its way towards Stone Cottage, accompanied by a female. Felbrigg birding at it’s best!
The strikingly pale wintering Buzzard at Felbrigg – possibly of Eastern European origin
On the newly created spillway – female Grey Wagtail
In the nearby ‘corner Oak’ – the resident Little Owl
A reasonably late pair of Brambling in Stone Cottage garden