Aylmerton Nature Diary

Monday 3rd October

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Hot on the heels of yesterday’s Redwing comes my first Fieldfare of the autumn

Yesterday, after our delightful Harvest Supper (well lunch actually) at the Village Hall, attended by over fifty of St John’s congregation and invited guests, I took a trip into the park. The wind had moderated considerably since the morning but it was still rustling the tree tops. I went via the village pond, along Red Barn Lane to the Sexton’s Lodge entrance. I’d just passed the first cattle-grid when I heard, what I thought was a Yellow-browed Warbler call. Although it’s quite distinctive, there is a possibility of confusing it with other things, particularly brief phrases from Coal Tit – of which there are plenty in Felbrigg of course. I stopped and listened for a while before noticing a small warbler flitting around, about twenty foot up a near-by Silver Birch. I got good but brief views of a Yellow-browed, in full sun before it darted off into the vegetation. A tiny bird, smaller than Chiffchaff with clean white underparts, grey-green upper parts and a distinctive head pattern, with a long, pronounced creamy ‘super’ contrasting with a sharp, thin black eye-stripe. I saw it a couple of times flitting in the canopy before one of the NT Rangers arrived – he managed to hear the bird but not see it. I texted a few of the local birders, before Lee arrived on the scene. Unfortunately the bird was moving around with a mobile tit flock and we only heard it call again once before the sun went off the trees and the birds fell silent. Yellow-browed Warbler are ultra-long-distance migrants which occur occasionally in the park. There was a massive ‘fall’ of YBW last week along the coast from Norfolk to Northumberland.

Out early this morning to look for the Yellow-browed, without success but it was still a bit dark and cold.  A noticeable increase in winter thrushes though, including my first Fieldfare of the autumn, behind Sexton’s Lodge (Ed reported two last Thursday). Also a Marsh Tit calling in the same area. At the lake, a lone Tufted Duck, 29 Cormorant in the roost and a very vocal and visible Kingfisher.

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