Nature notes and a record of species recorded from in and around Felbrigg Park.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Green Sand and Shoveler

With a couple around prior to the new year, finally a Green Sandpiper made a reappearance today with one feeding in the beck north of the flooded meadow, and this was quickly followed by my second new bird for the year with a drake Shoveler noted amongst the other ducks on the flood.
A couple of Jack Snipe were still present, and on the lake was a year high 6 Pochard amongst the Tufted Ducks.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Jack Snipe continue to linger

A walk through the wet meadow on the weekend revealed there was still up to 5 Jack Snipe present, but despite my best efforts to try to find them on the deck before they took flight I failed miserably, but it was still good value to see them in flight.
Not a great deal was seen today due to the thick fog making viewing the lake or water meadow very difficult, but it did however allow me the opportunity to get close to the pair of Canada Geese as they swam around the lake.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Water Vole

A visit down to the park today resulted in the first Pochards of the year, with 2 drakes on the lake, and then investigating an animal which my Dad had briefly glimpsed from the bridge, we were delighted to find it was a Water Vole, which was not only a site tick, but as I can't really remember having seen one previously, it was maybe even a new species for me full stop!
It was fairly timid, quickly hiding amongst the vegetation when anyone passed by, but once all was quiet it eventually showed well as it moved across more open areas and allowed me to get a few quick snaps to record this excellent occurrence.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Jack Snipe

Finally got round to getting the wellies on and having a walk through the wet meadow beyond the lake today in the search for Jack Snipe, and my efforts were well rewarded with 3 being flushed, all typically rising silently from underfoot and quickly dropping back down, as opposed to the Common Snipe which all towered off calling loudly having moved when still some distance infront. I'd only seen one in the park previously, so to find a number present was very pleasing.
A mobile flock of Linnets were also new for the year, and a solitary Pink-footed Goose had joined the Greylag flock. 

Sunday, 12 January 2014


The Crossbill flocks in the park are a regular feature on most of my visits, with up to 30 regularly being seen. As well as a tantalising brief view of what was certainly a male Two-barred, although it frustratingly has yet to reappear to date, there is also a few large-billed birds which are periodically encountered and cause the odd bit of head-scratching as to their true identity. Hopefully they'll settle down to breed, and I'm still holding out for that Two-barred or monster-billed male Parrot to show up!

Saturday, 11 January 2014


A few more new species have added to the year list in recent days with a check of the houses round the village green producing House Sparrow, Collared Dove and Greenfinch, plus a couple of Lapwings over the fields.
Today produced the first Lesser Redpoll of the year in the Crossbill larches, and then whilst waiting down by the lake in hope for the Barn Owl which had managed to elude me so far this year, I was somewhat puzzled with the behaviour of the ducks on the lake which seemed to be being periodically spooked by something and kept on taking flight in a rather alarmed manner.
After a while I suddenly spotted a head and back of something in the water in front of the reedbed and upon raising my bins was shocked to see that it was an Otter! It quickly disappeared under the surface but after five minutes or so, it again reappeared in front of the reedbed and then swam along the edge of the lake and into the corner by the Mandarin trees where it was seen to catch a couple of fish which it quickly consumed before heading back towards the reedbed and disappearing once again.
Although it was more or less constantly on the move, I managed to get a quick snap whilst it paused briefly to devour one of the fish, and although the fading light and distance wasn't conducive to getting a great pic, its still a nice record of a brilliant patch tick.
Heading back to the car, the Barn Owl finally gave itself up and did a couple of fly-pasts before heading off across the meadow to round off a great afternoon.

Monday, 6 January 2014


The last few days have been fairly quiet with the only new bird species for the year noted being a flock of fly-over Fieldfares yesterday. However things picked up a pace today with a walk down to the lake resulting in a Lesser Black-backed Gull roosting on the flooded meadow, a Stock Dove coming down to drink there, and then the major surprise of the day when a scan of the trees in the corner of the lake where the Mandarins usually get resulting in the delight of finding a Bittern amongst them. We were lucky to have one wintering here last winter so it may well be the same bird returning, or maybe its a new bird on the roam having been displaced by the coastal flooding, but either way an excellent record for the site and always a really special moment to see one out in the open, even if it was obscured photo wise.
A Roe Deer was also noted in the corner of the lake and earlier a Rabbit was also added to the list of animals recorded so far this year. Arriving back at the car as darkness fell a Tawny Owl was heard calling and after a little careful searching it was eventually seen moving between the trees, and the final highlight of an excellent visit to the park was a fly-over Woodcock.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

A few more species added

With better weather than yesterday, another 15 species of birds were noted around the park today including a pair of Egyptian Geese, Red-legged Partridges, Green Woodpecker, Jay, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Sparrowhawk and a few Bramblings. As dusk approached the Little Owl appeared in its usual tree and was heard calling to a second bird, and a Tawny Owl also gave a few hoots from the woods, but the biggest surprise of the day was a Bat species which dashed overhead through the trees as darkness fell.
Egyptian Goose

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Years Day

A walk round the park before the rain arrived resulted in 46 species of birds being seen, and despite the fairly blustery conditions a good spread of woodland species were noted including Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Marsh, Coal & Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrest, Siskins and a couple of Common Crossbills.
The flooded meadow and lake held Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon, Mallard, Tufted Ducks, Mute Swan, Greylag & Canada Geese, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Moorhen, Common Snipe and a Water Rail. A few Common Buzzards were on the wing over the parkland and a skein of Pink-footed Geese headed over. Brown Hare and Grey Squirrel were also noted.