Aylmerton Nature Diary

Monday 27th March

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Stonechat, Felbrigg Park – my first in nearly ten years

I was volunteering at Cley NWT today when I got a phone-call from Phil Hall, saying he’d found a Stonechat at Felbrigg – gnash! When I got home I went straight down to the park, but despite a thorough search of the water meadow, lake area and the rough grazing below the dam, there was no sign. I did get some small recompense, in the form of a Swallow, which stopped momentarily over the lake to hawk for insects before continuing on it’s journey south. I’d just got back to the village when I bumped into Lee, who told me he’d seen the Stonechat a little over an hour ago – double gnash!! I had a swift cup of tea and returned for a second look – this time I was more successful. The 1st winter male Stonechat was sitting on the fence at the edge of the reed bed. It made several short flights around the reed bed and the gorse bushes on The Warren before being startled by the hunting Barn Owl. Rather uncharacteristically for this species it flew to the top of the Alder trees and remained hidden in the branches. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s still there in the morning. This is the first Stonechat I’ve seen in the park in nearly ten years and is my 145th species since starting this blog.

The Stonechat was eventually spooked by this hunting Barn Owl

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..and the ‘consolation prize’ for missing it the first time – a Swallow, one day earlier than last year (sorry for the rubbish photo!)

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