Sunday, 10 October 2010

Normanby Hall Country Park

A beautiful autumnal day, we visit Normanby Hall Country Park, site of a stately home surrounded by extensive, beautiful wooded grounds and including a deer park. It is rutting season so we hope to see some action, and we are not disappointed. There is a large herd of hinds kept compact by a stately stag, who ruts every now and then, in between bringing a stray female or two back to the herd. He trundled into a creek and had a splash, and then proceeded to dig some bracken to adorn his antlers.

The gardens - including a walled garden and a butterfly border - are still carpeted in flowers, and the butterflies oblige, with large numbers of Comma, Red Admiral and a few Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Woods visiting the Verbena bonairensis and Michaelmas daisies. Many old trees, including oaks, sweet chestnuts, and beech, some of them ancient and an impressive avenue of Giant Redwoods.
Red Admirals gorging on Michaelmas daisies, two more were on sight.
Old Sweet Chestnut
 The grounds, deer park and walled garden are easy to access and the deer have a 'sanctuary' where visitors aren't allowed. There is a cafe, public toilets, a gift shop (selling some of the grounds' produce) and picnic tables under each large tree in front of the hall.
 As for birds, we saw jackdaws, jays, robin and woodpigeons and heard a goldcrest.

Official Website

Normanby Nature. A blog about birds and other wildlife in the local are and beyond.

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