Aylmerton Nature Diary

Thursday 31st March

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Chiffchaff, one of perhaps a dozen birds in the park at present

Spent most of yesterday morning with Phil, walking his Felbrigg Park Breeding Bird Survey (FPBBS) sector, around Common Plantation and along the Metton road. There were a few things of interest but it’s still too early for the main breeding activity to commence. Best bird was a strikingly pale Buzzard, sat on a fence post along Scarrow Beck.

The afternoon was spent at Blakeney, with grandson Patrick crab fishing and taking the opportunity to catch-up with the Lapland Bunting, which have been there all winter. They are really smart looking birds. I think there’s only ever been one record in the Aylmerton/Felbrigg area, and that was in 2000. Wouldn’t it be nice to have another!

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Male Lapland Bunting, Blakeney – in near full summer plumage

Managed to get into the park for a quick walk with Matthew at tea-time. There was still a Red Kite hanging around the Hall and a silent Chiffchaff in the hedge below the dam. The Barn Owl was out hunting by the lake (and another at the allotment at dusk) and a pair of Mandarin were prospecting suitable nest-holes.

Female Mandarin, inspecting her possible ‘summer let’!

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