Father of ‘polish’ young – now sadly deceased
Yesterday was the first of our regular NENBC mid-week walks around Felbrigg Park. 18 participants gathered at the Sexton’s Lodge car park for a leisurely two hour bird walk through the woods and around the lake. These walks, which are aimed at all levels of experience, are a good way to get to know other local birders, share knowledge and become familiar with one of the more varied inland birding sites in the club’s recording area. Typically, for late winter, the birding interest came in fits and starts. There were few birds in the first woodland stretch but we did manage to connect with Long-tailed Tit, Goldcrest and a passing Sparrowhawk. At the water meadow there were Teal, Egyptian Geese and we had the opportunity to study the identification of wintering Common Gull & 2nd winter Herring Gull. Around the lake we had excellent views of Nuthatch, Marsh Tit and Siskin, whilst on the lake, good numbers of Tufted Duck and Gadwall were scrutinised for anything scarcer. A pair of Shoveler were the only unusual wildfowl found but we did get to observe the early courtship behaviour of Mute Swan and learn about the phenomena of ‘polish’ off-spring. On our return walk back to the car park we encountered a pair of territorial Mistle Thrush, a couple of migrant Redwing, a superb ‘drumming’ Great Spotted Woodpecker and observed the finer detail of a pale Common Buzzard as it flew low over our heads. A total of forty four species were seen on our walk.
Future walks will end at the National Trust cafe for optional light refreshments.