Aylmerton Nature Diary

Sunday 25th October

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A pair of Mandarin, with possible youngster in tow?

Two Little Owl were calling to each other, from the old Oaks along the central path to the Lake, this afternoon, as I made my way down through the shelter belt. At the upper sluice I noticed an up-turn in the number of Teal on the water meadow. I saw six at first and then eventually ten – together with the pair on the Lake, making a dozen in all. A pair of Siskin flew overhead. I scrutinised the flock of bathing gulls, mostly Black-headed with a few Common, but no Mediterranean today. I then spotted the pair of Mandarin Duck, which have been reported over the past week, swimming close to the wooded western edge. I then saw a third bird which, even viewed from across the Lake, I could see was different looking – an eclipse male or possibly a juvenile moulting, into adult plumage. If the latter proves to be the case then this would suggest local breeding – the first in quite a few years, I think. I wandered on to the trees around the Ice Pool but there was no sign of any small birds, let alone the Yellow-browed Warbler. A Sparrowhawk along Church Lane was the only avian interest on my return home.

More shots of these handsome birds, first the female

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Now the adult male and either eclipse male or imm male? 

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Post Script: From comments I’ve received I’m pretty confident this is a 1st winter male, and the first evidence of local breeding since 2009.

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