Grab-shot of young Cuckoo, Deer Park, Felbrigg
Lovely weather for my morning walk around Felbrigg. As I wandered down the lane from the village, towards the back gate, I noticed a significant number of Blackbirds – ten or more, feeding along the newly cut grass verge. Most of them seemed to be birds of the year. I’d just got to the junction of paths at the start of the middle track to the lake when I noticed a brown falcon-like bird fly up into one of the oak trees on the edge of the Deer Park. Assuming that it was one of the young Kestrel which have been knocking about in this area, I casually raised my binoculars to confirm my suspicions. I was surprised and delighted to find that it was, in fact, a juvenile Cuckoo! It appeared to be independent of any surrogate parents and quickly flew to another tree and out of view. There’s been plenty in the nature news about the dramatic decline of Cuckoo in recent years and, although we have had records of adult birds in Felbrigg this year, it’s the first evidence of successful breeding that I’m aware of. The lake remains devoid of any duck species other than Mallard but there were a couple of Little Owl calling to each other – I assume adult and youngster(s), close-by. Along the western edge of the lake there was a female Grey Wagtail and a calling Marsh Tit nearby. No sign of either Sandpiper, which we saw on the NENBC mid-week walk on Wednesday.