Aylmerton Nature Diary

Tuesday 27th December

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Ruddy Shelduck – or is it? 

I was up before dawn to get down to the lake, more in hope than expectation, to look for yesterday’s reported Brent Goose. Disappointed but not surprised that it wasn’t there, it was always a remote possibility that it would have hung about, particular on the lake with the ‘family from hell’ Mute Swan! Lots of nice birds though. Most of the wildfowl was still present and, in the Alders by the viewing screen, a nice flock of a dozen Siskin with at least one Lesser Redpoll with them.

This afternoon I decided to go to Overstrand in search of the Sanderling that Jane had seen there yesterday. I’d got as far as Cromer when I received a text from Simon saying ‘Black-tailed Godwit and Ruddy Shelduck on the water meadow’ (Felbrigg)! Fortunately they were both still there when I arrived. The Shelduck looked good for a non-breeding adult, except on subsequent investigation, the leg colour wasn’t right. Ruddy Shelduck should have black legs whereas this guy has got pink. This suggests a Ruddy Shelduck x Egyptian Goose hybrid – bother!  However, right along-side the ‘duck’ a splendid winter plumage Black-tailed Godwit. This  is only the third record of ‘Black-wit’ at Felbrigg. As always Simon, very grateful for the call.

Black-tailed Godwit, water meadows – only the third record at Felbrigg


Another shot – showing those offending legs!



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