So whilst my parents are away I (Jake, their youngest), have been given the unenviable task of filling my Dad’s shoes with keeping you all informed on the nature happenings in and around Aylmerton. I have some experience with bird photography however the equipment I’m using is totally different, so please bare with me and I PROMISE the photographs will improve!
What better way to start than with an amble around Felbrigg Park. It was horrendously wet last night and as much was evident on the floor of the park, it was a death trap this morning and quite frankly I felt lucky to make it back without a broken neck, anything else was a bonus!
The walk down the lane didn’t produce much to my surprise, not even a bullfinch which are usually guaranteed so I wasn’t holding out much hope. however as soon as I stepped into the park, the birds were actually very active and provided easy viewing. Great-Spotted Woodpecker was the first species to grab my attention as a single bird hopped from tree to tree in the first copse upon entry. Although it provided good views, it proved rather more difficult to photograph and alas my results are quite underwhelming.
Further along the path I connected with a feeding Tit flock which contained numerous Long-tailed, Marsh, Coal, Great and Blue. Not a bad start by all accounts. The large oaks at the start of the water meadows provided a pair of buzzard, sunning their wings before taking off presumably in search of breakfast.
The water meadows close to the bridge and the reedbed provided some promising species, Redshank and Water rail could both be heard calling, teal were numerous, I counted around 50. Overhead, a flock of 70 lapwing flew off South West. The lake itself had a good wildfowl count, 13 pairs of Gadwall, similar numbers of Tufted Duck and a single Female Goldeneye were the main bulk of the population. Interspersed with the flock were Coot, Canada Goose and Moorhen. Nothing groundbreaking but good to see the numbers were high. A short walk around the lake provided little else until I had come full circle to the west side of the lake by the viewing screen. Here, a further 2 calling water rail could be heard from the bog-like vegetation beyond. This is where I realised that this was unusual behaviour for winter, not just from the Rails, but every species! Wren’s were sitting out calling furiously, Song Thrush were booming across the woods as well as pairs of birds throwing themselves at me. Bullfinch, Dunnock, Mistle Thrush, Goldcrest, Robin and more. It’s clearly a sign of how this warmer spell of weather has been affecting the birds, giving almost a pseudo Spring feel. Lovely though it is, I hope it’s not too damaging for their populations as we progress through the year.
A robin sits out singing, like most of the birds this morning.