Aylmerton Nature Diary

Thursday 29th November

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Rough-legged Buzzard – a First for Felbrigg

I have Anne to thank for getting me out in the park on a damp and blustery morning – trying to catch up with those elusive Goldeneye. There was plenty of wildfowl on the water meadow, including lots of Teal, a pair of Wigeon and the Egyptian Geese. On the lake the only odd ducks I could find were the three Shoveler and another couple of Wigeon. Lots of Mallard and Gadwall but, not surprisingly, no sign of any Goldeneye! In an attempt to salvage something from my visit I went in search of the Stonechat on the rough grazing pastures below the dam. As I made my way down the field I noticed a ‘buzzard’ heading east over Common Plantation pursued by another. They’re such a regular occurrence in the park nowadays that it took me a while to even lifts my binoculars. I’m glad I did though because as the ‘lead bird’ twisted in the buffeting winds above me I noticed a striking white rump patch! With a couple of reports in recent weeks of ‘ringtail’ Hen Harrier I started to imagine that this could be the bird – then I got a grip! I was obviously watching a Rough-legged Buzzard – the pale under-parts with dark head, waist-coat and carpal patches all being visible – albeit as it hurtled towards Metton Carr. I did manage to get a couple of grab shots as it disappeared over the horizon. As far as I’m aware this is the first record from within the park, all other records in ‘The Birds of Felbrigg Park’ referring to birds along the Cromer ridge. I did manage to find a Stonechat afterwards but, to be honest, my mind was firmly on other things!

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