Aylmerton Nature Diary

Thursday 26th January

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It’s that time of year again – when the male Mute Swan exerts his authority over the lake!

Monday was Cley day. Despite the dramatic effects of the recent inundation there were still plenty of good birds about. Bearded Tits were ‘everywhere’ – showing down to five feet near the central hides, a first winter Glaucous Gull, Twite and Greenshank on Serpentine and a probable Siberian Chiffchaff in the dyke along East Bank.

Probable Siberian Chiffchaff – Cley NWT on Monday

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On Tuesday I had a productive site meeting at Sustead Common with a representative of North Norfolk District Council. Yesterday the weather was miserable but I did get down to the coast briefly – another Glaucous Gull and Purple Sandpiper at Sheringham, Mediterranean Gull at West Runton and a few other bits and bobs.

First winter Glaucous Gull and Purple Sandpiper, at Sheringham, yesterday afternoon

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This morning, after watching the first Hawfinch of the day arrive at the appointed time of twelve minutes to eight, I went for a good walk around the park. Plenty of Bullfinch about – I counted at least nine, a Sparrowhawk was obligingly perched up in the shelter-belt, several Marsh Tit and a couple of Woodcock in Common Plantation, three Snipe flushed from the rough grazing meadow below the dam and the Little Owl hiding in it’s usual Ash tree. On the frozen lake, still loads of Teal, three Wigeon, three Shoveler and the usual assortment of other wildfowl.

Perched Sparrowhawk – an unusual encounter for me at Felbrigg

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Little Owl, hiding in it’s regular Ash tree

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Now I’d better get on and prepare my contribution to tonight’s NENBC evening presentation on The Birds of Felbrigg at Aylmerton Village Hall – doors open at 7.00, all welcome.

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