Aylmerton Nature Diary

Sunday 24th April

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Dunlin – a rare bird at Felbrigg

I was up at dawn to lead a Spring Song & Breakfast event at Cley NWT. It was hailing on the drive over and there was a bitterly cold wind blowing when I arrived. Despite the weather, the dozen or so enthusiastic participants did manage to see or hear several interesting species including a splendid summer plumage Spotted Redshank, Whimbrel and Whitethroat.

Then it was back home for a Felbrigg Park Breeding Bird Survey stock-take meeting, at the Hall. We’d just got back to the cottage – via the allotment, when Tim & Dawn called by to say that they’d found a Dunlin on the water meadow! I’ve only seen Dunlin at Felbrigg once before and that was about ten years ago – so there was no hanging around. The bird wasn’t on view when I got there but it did finally appear from the inlet on the western edge of the water meadow. A bird in transitional plumage, just beginning to show some dark belly feathers.

Here, being chased by a Lapwing

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The afternoon was spent exploring Thwaite Common where, in the space of ten minutes, I saw a Cuckoo followed a male Ring Ouzel – though it took me nearly an hour to get a second confirmatory view! Just as I was coming away a flock of eight Curlew flew low, north across the Common – another unusual inland record.

Calling Cuckoo, Thwaite Common – roll on my first for the year at Felbrigg!

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