A total surprise – Avocet, over Incleborough Hill on my NENBC Breeding Bird Survey
This morning was the NENBC mid-week walk around the Felbrigg Estate. It was raining to begin with but gradually dried up, with even some sunny spells. There was nothing particularly exciting on the walk but we did see Common Sandpiper and Spotted Flycatcher, as well as a host of the more common species – 51 in total. Yesterday, I was up early to do my Breeding Bird Survey of Incleborough Hill – again little of interest regarding the breeding birds but I was delighted to add an NENBC tick for my pains. I was right on the top of the hill when I saw a bird coming towards me, high in the sky. At first I thought it might be a tern of some sort but I quickly realised that it was an Avocet, with another following closely behind. They passed over-head and continued south towards Roughton Road. Avocet are a scarce bird in the NENBC area, so far only seen off-shore. A brief visit to the park in the afternoon failed to produce the reported Cuckoo but I did catch up with Tim & Dawn’s Marsh Harrier, seen the day before over the village – well I assume it was the same bird.
Female/imm. Marsh Harrier, heading north over The Great Wood – being mobbed by crows