Saturday, April 22, 2006

This is more like it!

Aylmerton was back to its spring time best this morning, reminding me why I love April here!
Took a walk up the Track first thing with the conditions being bright with broken cloud and a light north to north-easterly breeze, just enough to make sure you didn't mistake it for summer!
First birds noted were no less than 4 Ring Ouzels together, apparently a pair of pairs, they were not to jumpy to start with but the first blast of the gas powered bird scarerer put pay to that as they scarpered to the far side of the field! Managed a couple of distant record shots.

Ring Ouzel

As I scanned the hedgerows an even more welcome sight was presumably the same Little Owl in roughly the same area, surely this must be a breeding site?
Turning round to scan the Ridge my eye was immediately drawn to a white bird moving west and was delighted to see only my second site record of Little Egret! Somewhat of a double-edged sword, if I was in the garden I would have seen it closer and it would have been a garden tick!

Little Egret

Around nine thirty I started making my way back, looking forward to a late breakfast, but then got a phone call from a friend watching on the otherside (north) of The Ridge advising me to scan the horizon to the east, which I did so, and saw the wonderful sight of 9 Common Cranes flying towards us! They were a fair distance away so I decided to see if I could make it home and get them on the garden list - bad move. Once I'ld taken my eye off them I couldn't relocate them! though I was pretty sure they had moved off north east. Finally back in the garden news came through that the Cranes were now working their way west along the coast (they eventually crossed the Wash at 1230) so I presumed my chance of getting them on the Garden year list was lost. As I was setting up in the garden I couldn't beleive my luck as a single Common Crane* then flew east directly over the garden and started thermalling over Felbrigg Park! It later became apparent that this bird was one of the 9 and that 8 birds continued west.

Common Crane over Aylmerton

Other birds of note:

Common Buzzard - 2 or 3 all presumed local
Whimbrel - FotS, flew north over village
Common Gull - a flock of 50 2nd calender-year birds dropped onto potato field breifly before moving north.
Bullfinch - pair

Also saw the first butterflies in the garden, a Small Tortoiseshell anda Comma.

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