Aylmerton Nature Diary

Weekend resumé

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Coot, nest-building on the Water Meadow, Felbrigg

A busy weekend doing domestic tasks and an NENBC outdoor meeting at Swanton Novers has meant little local birding and no blog. I did manage to get out to Felbrigg on Friday morning for a last rendezvous with Phil & Manu, before Manu returns to Nigeria, and again a couple of times yesterday – more of which in a moment.

The weather on Friday morning was cool with a moderate NE breeze and, as a consequence, there was nothing particularly different for us to show Manu. The Green Sandpiper of the previous day had departed and there were no new migrants, although I did manage to find a single House Martin in the hirundine flock. The male Mandarin was on show, as was the Barn Owl and there was a (migrant?) Meadow Pipit on The Warren. The rest of Friday and all day Saturday it rained and rained.

With the NENBC field trip to Swanton Novers yesterday, which by the way was excellent (we must get more records from this ‘permit only’ Natural England reserve, on the western-most fringe of our recording area) starting at 09.00, I did manage a quick walk around the lake first thing. It was cold and extremely soggy from the previous two days rain and there was nothing new to delay me. However, a couple of hours later, when we were well into the field trip, the pager went off, alerting me to a Little Gull at Felbrigg! I did do a quick wiz round on my return, in the vain hope that it might have hung around but, alas, no. This was an excellent find by Mark Clements and, I think, a ‘first’ for Felbrigg. Apparently, this adult summer bird flew in from the east, stayed half an hour, before departing north. A nice record.

Adult Little Gull, Felbrigg – record and photo by Mark Clements

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Other bits of interest: there is at least one pair of Coot nesting on the Water Meadow, although with the water levels continuing to drop, they may not last long; a pair and a single male Shoveler are still present; the Mute Swans seem to have settled on a reed bed location for this years nest and the six little Egyptian Geese, seen on Thursday afternoon, being brought down to the lake by their parents for safety, don’t appear to have even made it through the night!

Pied Wagtail – one of a couple of pairs seen regularly around The Warren

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