Aylmerton Nature Diary

Wednesday 6th May

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 Male Mandarin with Wood Duck – Felbrigg Lake

 With yesterday’s report of a singing Wood Warbler at Bayfield Estate, near Holt, I decided I’d better check out one of it’s former Norfolk strong-holds this morning at Lion’s Mouth, Felbrigg Park. As I was up early I thought I’d best go down to the water meadow to look for waders first, before the dog-walkers arrived. Alas, no waders of any description but the pair of Egyptian Geese still have five youngsters and were briefly joined by another adult. I followed the path past the Warren, the site of our forthcoming NENBC ‘Big Sit’, along the eastern edge of the lake, listening to Reed Warbler and Whitethroat singing. A quick look over the lake revealed only a handful of Mallard, a few Gadwall, Coot and Mute Swan – not even a Tufted Duck. As I rounded the corner by the dam sluice I saw a couple of ducks on the dam wall – the first was clearly a male Mandarin but the more distant bird clearly wasn’t – it was the male Wood Duck, which I’d missed whilst we were away in Scotland. What a handsome bird – despite it’s ‘unknown origins’! Eventually both birds flew off across the lake, over the wood and disappeared to the west. I continued my walk around the lake and as I emerged from beneath the tree canopy I saw three Swift drift by – my first at Felbrigg this year. Another pair of Mandarin flew across the water meadow as I made my way along the top path. A long walk up through the Old Deer Park and Great Wood produced a pair of circling Sparrowhawk a few more singing Blackcap, Whitethroat & Chiffchaff and a lone Firecrest. A slow walk back down Lion’s Mouth produced.. nothing! Oh well, one species with ‘Wood’ in it’s name was good enough.

A couple more shots of this exotic North American species

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Swift – first for Felbrigg this year

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Treecreeper, seen near the viewing screen 

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