Aylmerton Nature Diary

Friday 10th February

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Slightly better light for this obliging Water Rail at Felbrigg this afternoon

The grim weather persists, with regular sleet & hail showers and temperatures barely above freezing.

The Water Rail was exceptionally confiding, feeding in it’s usual spot along Scarrow Beck. From the shelter-belt I could see across the water meadow to what was obviously an increased Wigeon flock. It wasn’t until I’d done the loop around the lake and was returning along the middle path though that I realised by just how much. I counted twenty four in total – the biggest number this winter by a long way. After the eruptions, over the past couple of weeks, in the Mute Swan family dynamics, I was surprised to see that all last year’s youngsters are still present – albeit spread out across the lake and water meadow. They’ve been joined on the water meadows by another pair of adults. In the rough grazing meadow, at the southern edge of the Old Deer Park, I counted eight Song Thrush, two Redwing, a pair of Mistle Thrush and numerous Blackbird. A Green Woodpecker was in the oaks to the east of the lake.

I’d just arrived back home, mentally noting an absence of Hawfinch along my route, when a sizeable flock flew up and over The Street, perching briefly in some tall White Poplar trees before flying off towards Felbrigg. There were at least ten – the highest count so far!

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