Aylmerton Nature Diary

Tuesday 26th April

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Clutch of Coot eggs exposed to the elements, Felbrigg Park

The weather here has just been dreadful. Spent most of the day in Norwich but did manage to get into the park, between the showers, late afternoon. Not surprisingly, with a strong north-westerly blowing, there was virtually no bird activity – I did manage to hear a couple of Marsh Tit in their usual locations, around the back gate and viewing screen, but precious little else. As I stood by the sluice, scanning the water meadow, I noticed both adult Coots were on the water. I checked the nest from the path and, sure enough, the clutch of eggs were fully exposed to the elements. With temperatures down to about 6 degrees, I fear that their prospects for survival are pretty slim. If the adults have abandoned, I think we can all guess the reason why! Further up the water meadow, a lone Snipe was flushed by the wandering cattle. I took a long walk down the course of the Scarrow Beck, returning via Common Plantation. Whist sheltering under an oak tree, from one of the sharp pulses of hail, I was delighted to see a Cuckoo fly silently around the edge of the wood and disappear – my first sighting at Felbrigg this year. The male Mandarin was also on the lake on my return home.

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