Aylmerton Nature Diary

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Monday 6th February


Water Rail, Scarrow Beck

After my early morning vigil at the allotment yesterday, I walked a loop through Felbrigg Park, along the Weaver’s Way to Lower Gresham and returned via the Stone Cross. There were a few birds of interest along the way, starting with the obliging Water Rail, busy feeding in Scarrow Beck, just inside the back gate. The usual assemblage of wildfowl were on the water meadow and lake but I couldn’t find any Shoveler. Marsh Tit were calling along the western edge of the lake. On my way back from Gresham, a pair of Mistle Thrush were at the Stone Cross and eight Buzzards, engaged in display flights, drifted slowly west. In the afternoon I strayed outside the NENBC recording area, in search of a few much needed Norfolk Year Ticks, click link for details.

Another shot of this obliging bird in the early morning sun


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Sunday 3rd February


Me, at the allotments, for dawn 

I did something this morning  I’ve been meaning to do for weeks – went up to the allotments for dawn, to see if I could get Hawfinch on my ‘Allotment List’. I’d been there about a quarter of an hour when I noticed a single bird sat in the top of the usual ‘arrival’ trees – Hawfinch safely on the list, at 07.26! Almost as quickly as it arrived, it and a couple of friends which appeared from nowhere, flew in a circuit around The Street and away, over the allotments, heading west. I tracked them through the telescope about as far as the Stone Cross – adding possible credence to the theory that the birds I saw in Gresham may well have come from the Aylmerton flock.

Other birds of interest included Bullfinch, Stock Dove, Green Woodpecker and several skeins of Pink-feet, heading north west – I wonder if they are on their way back north? From the allotment track, six Teal flew up the Scarrow Beck, another welcome addition to the Allotment List, bringing my total to 83. Just as I reached home a female Sparrowhawk dashed across the lane and over my neighbours garden, flushing four Siskin in the process.


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Friday 3rd February


Little Owl, near Felbrigg Church

I just don’t know where this week has gone. Cley on Monday, talk to Holt Rotary Tuesday, something on Wednesday, work-parties at Sustead Common yesterday and Mallett’s Meadows today. Enjoyed my first walk around Felbrigg this week, in the company of long-time birding friends Bob & Sue. We managed 52 species, with the highlights being Hawfinch at the start of our walk, Water Rail and Little Owl. I’m hoping things will calm down now a bit..