A cold November afternoon with only 15 minutes to spare for a quick check on the East side of the village. The beauty of birding is that you never know when just a few minutes will produce something unusual or a little special. I walked the tree lined Kissing Alley down the side of the Hethersett Hall. The winds are taking on a much more seasonal feel and cut through the leafless vegetation. As the afternoon was growing late there were few avian highlights but a treecreeper called from the Hall grounds and woodpigeons constantly passed overhead. The late light made the skies worth a quick photo of a scene that has probably changed little in the last couple of hundred years.
Over the fields a few Lesser Black Backed gulls soared and a screaming Jay let it be known that he didn’t wish to be disturbed. At the bottom of the path the woods close in as you reach the Hall’s lake and they resounded to the call of a hidden pheasant and late singing robins. The limited views of the lake from Kissing Alley always promise hidden secrets and as the winter starts to draw in can offer the potential for wildfowl from further afield however only moorhens and mallards appeared to grace the lake. An unexpected trail of bubbles caught my attention perhaps a large fish or even an otter I thought but the hidden cause remained so and with the limited view I was kept guessing until plop up popped a little treasure in the form of Little Grebe which paused briefly to eat a small fish and then disappeared out of sight. This relatively common water bird is a favourite of mine not least for its haunting call which I shall be listening out for on evening walks and takes its place in The Birds of Hethersett with no other parish records I am aware of.