Aylmerton Nature Diary

Wednesday 29th April

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This afternoons pair of Ring Ouzel, Felbrigg Park

Having spent the morning cutting the grass at the allotment, whilst dodging the showers, I decided to spend the afternoon on a slow walk round the west and south of the parish. I had a vague hope that the current changeable weather would have dropped something in, so I set off to first check-out the field reservoir. Nothing obvious when I approached the bank, just one of the resident Khaki Cambell ducks and a pair of Tufted Duck. There were a surprising number of large gulls loafing on the adjacent newly ploughed field – five Herring Gull and three Lesser Black-backed. I’d just about given up hope of anything else when I noticed a small bird sat on the far bank. I went to get a better look and as I did a Common Sandpiper took off and flew to the opposite bank – the ‘small’ bird turned out to be a nice female Wheatear! Along School Lane and into Felbrigg Park, via Keeper’s Cottage, stopping to watch a couple of Muntjac on the way. Down through Common Plantation to the rough grazing paddock bisected by Scarrow Beck. I heard my first Cuckoo of the year calling from somewhere beyond the woods and a lone Snipe was flushed from the stream side. Nothing new on the lake but the number of Sand Martin has gone up from yesterday to perhaps 50. A Marsh Tit was busy around the viewing screen – the first I’ve seen here for some weeks. I spent some time on the bridge by the sluice listening to a lone Reed Warbler, ‘chuntering’ in the reed bed. A pair of Whitethroat chased each other around the hawthorn bushes but there was no sign of any Ring Ouzel in their usual spot. A Buzzard and Sparrowhawk provided the only arial interest. I was making my way home through the shelter belt when I noticed two thrush-like birds fly up into a nearby tree. To my surprise they were a male and female Ring Ouzel – different birds to those of last night. This is the nineteenth day when this otherwise rare visitor to Felbrigg has graced the park – it can’t go on for much longer, surely!

Male Ring Ouzel

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Female Ring Ouzel

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Muntjac

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