Sunday, January 08, 2006 Aylmerton

I v'e lived in Aylmerton for nearly seven years now, and from day one I kept a bird record, with Hobby overhead when we moved in (And more painfully a Black Stork unknowingly soaring over the fields behind the house the same day!) Since then I have noted 124 bird species from my garden (plus redpoll sp.) with the most recent being Common Teal on October 8th. The more notable sightings include Woodlark, Ring Ouzel, Waxwing, Snow Bunting, Firecrest and Mediterranean Gull, but best of all are the raptors. From March through to early June an annual movement of raptors occurs in varying numbers. Highlights of previous springs include 12 Marsh Harriers and 4 Hen Harriers in a day, several sightings of Red Kite, Osprey, Rough legged Buzzard, Peregrine and Merlin and even Black Kite! Although the raptors are eagerly anticipated, I have now started to take an interest in butterflies, dragonflies and Moths so I can even record wildlife after dark! Although in no way as knowledgable about insects as I maybe birds, insect highlights already include Small Red eyed Damsellefly, Mervielle de Jour moth and a fantastic Camberwell Beauty butterfly! So it really is all here on the doorstep and hopefully this year is going to be another wildlife filled one!

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