Aylmerton Nature Diary

Sunday 19th November

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Snow Bunting – not one of those seen at Felbrigg this morning, but taken at Cley in 2012

I missed a ‘Felbrigg First’ this morning, by three minutes – GRIPPING!! I’d done my WeBS duck count first thing – highlights included two Little Egret, Little Grebe, Water Rail and another pair of Mute Swan, which briefly put down on the lake but were quickly seen off by the resident male, before heading to the hall to look for the Hawfinch. Having had brief flight views of a single bird by The Orangery, I decided to check-out the car-park, just in case. None there but I did get good views of another single bird behind the hall. By that time breakfast beckoned and as I passed by the group of assembled birders at The Orangery, Stu Betts kindly informed me that they’d just had two Snow Bunting fly over, heading north west! Although there have been half a dozen records of birds in Aylmerton parish, this is only the second record I (now) know of in Felbrigg, the first being a female on the grass by the car park in front of the hall on 16th October 2002, and still present the following day – thanks to MT for this record. Well done SB et al, nevertheless!

On Friday attended the NWT Volunteers ‘Thank you Day’ at the Hawk & Owl Trust reserve, Sculthorpe. A couple of informative presentations and a nice lunch preceded an interesting walk around the reserve with Nigel the Warden. Yesterday it was the NENBC November Outdoor meeting to Strumpshaw Fen RSPB reserve, breaking new ground for the Club and me, as it happens – can’t think why I’ve not been there before. Seventeen people turned out and we clocked-up nearly fifty species including probably ten different Marsh Harrier, nice views of Stonechat, Bearded Tit and, putting our new-found mammal id skills to the test, Chinese Water Deer. After lunch a few of us continued on to New Buckenham, where we added another dozen or so species. Thanks to Janice for leading the group.

A nice Wigeon, seen by NENBC members at New Buckenham

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Chinese Water Deer, taken at New Buckenham but also seen at Strumpshaw 

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