Aylmerton Nature Diary

Friday 7th July

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Five Common Sandpiper, Felbrigg Lake dam wall

My first attempt to get out yesterday afternoon was rained off. After the thunderstorm had subsided I did manage a walk around Felbrigg lake. I’m glad I made the effort – after weeks of very little change on the bird front there was quite a bit of activity. On my way down The Street, a family party of recently fledged Blackcap and a Bullfinch near the Wood Yard. I took the path through the western shelter-belt to look for Spotted Flycatcher but without success on this occasion – there was a Marsh Tit by the viewing screen however. As I counted the cygnets on the lake, I noticed a white and grey bird sat on the dam wall, at the far end, near the sluice. Tim and Dawn had reported Green Sandpiper over Aylmerton on a couple of  previous evenings and I wondered if it could be that species. However, even at that distance, the white hook up in front of the wing told me it was Common Sandpiper. As I scanned along the wall I found four more. Eventually they took a couple of turns around the lake, revealing obvious white wing bars and exhibiting their characteristic ‘flicking’ flight-style. This has been a very odd year for migration – some Spring birds were very late moving north, but I assume these were either non-breeders or early returners. When I finally got to the south-east corner I noticed that the female Gadwall was still present with her lone youngster – now quite well grown, and the two male Tufted x Ferruginous Duck were present.


Another view of the Common Sandpiper, clearly showing their white wing-bars 



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