Aylmerton Nature Diary

Saturday 27th January

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Hawfinch in the car-park at Felbrigg Hall – too close to photograph properly

After the up-set of Aylmerton Common yesterday I took a long walk around the park. The number of wildfowl has increased of late – certainly since I did my WeBS count! On the water meadow there were a couple of pairs of Wigeon, 60+ Teal and the lone Egyptian Goose with two Canada and a handful of Greylag Geese. There were 40+ Tufted Duck  – no sign of either of the hybrids though, on the lake, with the usual Gadwall and Mallard flocks. The Grey Wagtail was along Scarrow Beck, at the out-flow. I walked over to the church and  went to examine the wreckage of the dead ‘dead tree’. As I approached I heard a Little Owl call from away to my left – this was quickly responded to by another, possibly two, coming from the other Oaks towards the hall, but despite examining every suitable roost hole I couldn’t find any sitting out. I bumped into Richard at the car-park where we talked about the recent lack of sightings of Hawfinch, concluding that they’d probably gone. We were just departing when Richard called out ‘Hawfinch’, as it flew into the bush right in front of me – really too close to photograph! It eventually flew off towards the hall, where I managed to relocate it in trees behind The Orangery, where it remained on show for a good fifteen minutes. I passed through Mallett’s Meadows on my return home, flushing a group of five Teal from the winter flooding.

Another, more distant shot, behind The Orangery. This female appears to me the sole survivor of the autumn influx

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