Snowdrops behind Felbrigg Hall
A lovely, almost warm, afternoon for a walk around the parish. In the newly ploughed field, beside Lion’s Mouth, a flock of 25 Stock Dove were feeding – that’s a pretty good number I think. In the woods behind the Hall the first Snowdrops are in bloom – could Spring really be on it’s way? There were certainly a few woodland birds singing as I made my way through to the Walled Garden, but there was nothing particularly interesting around the old farm yard. A couple of Snipe and a dozen Teal were on the water meadow and there was the usual assortment of wildfowl on the lake. As I crossed the dam a fisherman landed what to me was an enormous Pike – he claimed it was only a tiddler! Tried to find Woodcock in their usual spot but without success. A slow walk up Mill Lane produced nothing much until I entered an over-grown wooded area someway off the track, here I disturbed four Woodcock, three Teal and a couple of Muntjac. As I was returning home down the Loke a distant raptor caught my eye. I watched it for a bit before concluding that it must be a female Marsh Harrier – closer analysis of the photos later confirmed the id. A nice and unexpected end to a very pleasant walk.