Aylmerton Nature Diary

Monday 5th February

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Fieldfare on the sheep pastures in front of Felbrigg Hall

There was the occasional sunny spell between sleety showers yesterday afternoon, allowing me to get out into the park for the first time in over a week. I headed towards the Hall first, to check out the Hawfinch. To my surprise, the lone female was obligingly sitting atop her usual tree behind The Orangery. I managed a few poor record shots – you never know when the next opportunity will present itself. I walked down through the sheep pastures to the Weaver’s Way and from there, down to the lake. The number of winter thrushes has definitely increased in the past week – I saw at least 150 Redwing and 100 Fieldfare in scattered groups. Not much change at the lake but the number of Tufted Duck is still creeping up – I counted 45 including the two Tufted x Ferruginous hybrids. There were nearly ninety Gadwall, four Wigeon and a few Teal – more by the time I reached the water meadow. Still no winter ‘diving duck’ yet – perhaps the cold weather this week will bring something in. I was just stood talking to Mark & Amanda, by the viewing screen bridge, when two ducks flew in low over the lake from the south. I managed to get my binoculars on them before they disappeared into the over-hanging trees by the island – a nice pair of Mandarin. My first at Felbrigg this year. Despite doing another circuit of the lake I couldn’t pick them up again.

We’re off to Cley NWT this morning, where it promises to be cold and wet!

Yet another record shot of Hawfinch – but who knows when we’ll see them next?


Not quite the American duck species we’ve been seeing over the past week in The Azores but a nice view of one of the two Tufted x Ferruginous Duck hybrids on the lake



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