24th February 2019
Raveningham Hall estate and gardens was somewhere that I was vaguely aware of but had never visited. Having been spurred on by seeing a trip report on another blog we decided to pay a family visit whilst the Snowdrops were still out (the gardens are only open for certain events during the year). My first impressions were that it was a picturesque location, but not as big as it had appeared from the map. Indeed standing in the middle of the woodland you could see out in each direction. As it happened though there was plenty to see so this wasn't an issue.
We started by looking out over the lake, which would probably make a good patch for someone if access was more uniform. Over the far side we saw some Wigeon and a pair of Oystercatchers, whilst a Mistle Thrush fed in the parkland beyond. Walking around the woods we came upon the 'stumpery' which was interesting, and several Nuthatches called nearby. A singing Chiffchaff was heard distantly.
After walking around the woods and seeing the Snowdrops we returned to the main gardens, which were understandably rather flower-light because of the time of year. I saw my first Hairy-footed Flower Bees of the year, along with the leaf mines of Phytomyza hellebori. The cafe was busy so we headed down to Raveningham Church, which had I done my research I would have known holds some interesting lichens. Afterwards we headed back to the cafe for a simple but tasty lunch, and on a short walk around the rest of the estate we found quite a few Pine Ladybirds.