Aylmerton Nature Diary

Tuesday 23rd May

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Copulating Spotted Flycatcher – along the western shelter-belt, Felbrigg Park

We’ve had a birding friend staying with us over the weekend – the purpose of his visit, to show a photographer friend of his from Thailand some of the delights of North Norfolk. We spent Sunday morning at Hickling Broad, where we took a trip on the boat – Spoonbill, Swallowtail Butterfly and Norfolk Hawker being the wildlife highlights, then on to Blickling and finally Felbrigg. Yesterday was spent at Cley NWT, when the stand-out bird was a Purple Heron, which we watched come in off the sea and eventually disappear south of the village, without so much as a single wing flap! Last night we visited the heaths, in pursuit of Nightjar – which we found in relative abundance. Local patch birds have remained pretty static over the past few days: Cuckoos have been much in evidence, the drake Mandarin remains on the lake and the Spotted Flycatcher wasted no time in attracting a mate. On the down side, the Lapwing on the water meadow seem finally to have abandoned their second nesting attempt. This afternoon, on Sustead Common, my first dragonfly for the site – a female Broad-bodied Chaser.

iPhone photo of female Broad-bodied Chaser, Sustead Common

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Finally I’ve managed to track down one of the only pair of Reed Warbler so far in the reed- bed

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I never tire of looking at these exquisite ducks – male Mandarin

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