Aylmerton Nature Diary

Monday 8th May

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Scene from inside the Febrigg Big Sit shelter, during one of the rain showers

Yesterday was the annual North East Norfolk Bird Club ‘Big Sit’ and despite the continuing unseasonal weather – the temperature never made it into double figures, with  a steady chilling north wind and the occasional light shower, it turned out to be a highly successful event. We were on site at 05:00 and stuck it out until 19.45, when we recorded our final bird of the day – Grey Heron. We managed to see (or hear in the case of Tawny Owl) a total of 76 species – remarkably equalling last years total. The bird list did, however, include no less than a staggering three new additions to the Felbrigg list – Grey Plover (12), Bar-tailed Godwit (1) and Arctic Tern (36). Other highlights included Little Grebe, Mandarin, Teal and Shelduck, Hobby, Peregrine & Marsh Harrier, Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, three species of Wagtail and a late flock of 19 Fieldfare. As always, we did manage to miss a few things including Hen Harrier, Ring Ouzel, Wheatear, Little Egret, Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler – all recorded just a few hundred metres away from the Big Sit site, but not actually seen from the circle! Several other species, which, from previous years experience, we might have expected like Spotted Flycatcher, Cuckoo and Garden Warbler failed to put in an appearance.

A huge thank you to Team Felbrigg, who were there from start to finish and the numerous helpers and supporters who showed up during the day to help with spotting and generally keep moral high. Also, to those faithful Club members who supported the other Big Sit sites at Weybourne, Beeston and East Runton – in even less favourable weather conditions, well done!

The sightings board, without Grey Heron no. 76, which, in our eagerness to pack up, we forgot to add!

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