Aylmerton Nature Diary

Wild Goose Chase

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We’d just arrived back home from shopping in Cromer when a single ‘grey’ goose flew over head towards Felbrigg calling – the call an odd, drawn out,  ‘quark’ gained my immediate attention. Without any binoculars to hand I was left none the wiser, so I decided to go in search. There were a few birds in the park when we entered through the back gate, including Fieldfare and Redwing. There was a pair of Egyptian Geese on the water meadow and the number of Mute Swan on the lake has increased to 17. No sign of the Goldeneye however and, more importantly, no goose! A Green Woodpecker called from somewhere near the church. We decided to head back home for lunch but I became distracted by a faint drumming, coming from the oak shelter belt across from the water meadow. I decided to double back and check it out. As I approached the trees two Great Spotted Woodpecker flew out and began chasing each other – was that the source of the drumming I’d heard, I remained unconvinced. Just then I heard an unfamiliar squeaky trilling – seven or eight high notes quickly repeated. I went to the source of the noise and saw, in profile, a female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker clinging to a dead bough. It took flight towards the edge of the park but as it did so I got good views of it’s striped back – lacking the usual ‘angel wings’ of Great Spot. It’s been four or five years since I last saw this illusive species in the park – so not the bird I’d gone in pursuit of but certainly not a wild goose chase!


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