Aylmerton Nature Diary

Tuesday 4th December

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Turtle Dove

Turtle Dove – how good would these be back on Sustead Common? – photo from the internet

As you’ve probably gathered, there’s not been a lot going on on the wildlife front these past few days. We had two of our grandsons and their Dad over for the weekend but, despite several trips into the park, failed to find anything other than the usual assemblage of winter wildfowl. There were three Egyptian Geese making a racket in the dead Oak in front of the hall on Saturday and the number of Teal and Wigeon is still slowly creeping up. Work on the new spillway continues and the path across the dam remains closed. There have been a couple more reported sightings of the Rough-legged Buzzard in the park – one on Friday morning up Lion’s Mouth and another, by Jane, on Sunday. It could be that this bird has settled down in it’s winter quarters, somewhere in the Felbrigg vicinity – in which case we can expect a flurry of reports! On Sunday Peter and I attended a very good NWT Wildlife in Common event, with excellent presentations on grassland and woodland management, and a fascinating talk on Turtle Dove conservation by the RSPB. Sustead Common ticks a lot of the habitat requirement boxes – just doesn’t have any Turtle Doves at the moment! Yesterday was our Cley NWT day – the worst mornings birding I’ve had there since I started volunteering! Cold, wet and bird-less. It did pick up a bit in the afternoon. The most exciting thing I saw was a Curlew with a noticeable pale crown-stripe, doing a reasonable impression of a Whimbrel.

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