Aylmerton Nature Diary

Friday 29th April

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Snipe, on the water meadow

I did manage to get out briefly yesterday, to check on the Garganey. They were both still present mid-afternoon, the male continuing to engage in display behaviour! The current run of ‘missed birds’ however continued, with a Yellow Wagtail, female Redstart and Common Sandpiper all being reported in the morning. Then, to top it off, Andy comes across a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker late afternoon!

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Coot, busy building a replacement nest for the one they abandoned, due to bovine disturbance

This afternoon, I decided to get down to the park to see if any of yesterday’s interesting species had remained.  First success came in the form of the pair of Garganey, still present on the water meadow at 2 o’clock but I couldn’t find them on my return an hour and a half later. Also present was an Oystercatcher, a Snipe and two pairs of Teal. The Coot were busy rebuilding their nest in a different location, having abandoned the original site. There was a Marsh Tit near the screen and a Common Sandpiper, roosting on the western edge, before flying across the lake towards Boat House bay. A rather subdued Whitethroat was singing from the brambles, south of the dam. I was in the grazing meadow trying to get a photo of the Whitethroat when I heard the distinctive call of a Yellow Wagtail. I eventually located it, feeding around the cattle, accompanied by a few Pied Wagtails – one of which was a good candidate for a White Wagtail. Passing by the reed bed, on my way home, the Reed Warbler gave a brief burst of song before quickly falling silent. Whilst looking for the Garganey again, I found a Yellow wagtail – probably a second bird.

Yellow Wagtail feeding around the cattle, grazing meadow, south of the dam

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Seen here with White Wagtail

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and finally, a probable second bird on the water meadow, seen soon after

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Lastly, a grab shot of the Whitethroat – bramble hedge, south of the dam

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Of non-birding interest – the first spike of Early Purple Orchid, has appeared along the dam

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