Aylmerton Nature Diary

Sunday 6th August

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At last! – not one but two female/immature Mandarin, Felbrigg Lake

The weather was perfect this morning – sunny with no wind, and there was plenty of stuff to catch my attention. First of which being a distant calling Quail, as soon as I set foot down The Street. I couldn’t decide if it was coming from up towards the pond or perhaps from Mallett’s Meadow. Further down The Street a post-breeding gathering of eighteen Swallow on the telephone wires. On my return home most were still there, with a couple of the local Swift still, hawking insects above them. Once in the park  the wildlife interest continued – four Cormorant headed steadily north west and by the time I’d reached the lake, I saw another five roosting in the usual trees near the viewing screen. There was one juvenile amongst them. I slowly scanned the lake, initially only finding Mallard, but eventually I spotted the long expected Mandarin, preening under the Cormorants. I looked back from Boat House Bay, where I’d stopped to watch a Reed Warbler collecting food, when I noticed that the first Mandarin had been joined by a second. They were both female or immature types but they were too distant to tell. The Little Owl was sunning itself in the Ash tree below the dam and I watched eleven Mistle Thrush gradually alight in the tall Beech, near the viewing screen. There was a single Spotted Flycatcher feeding in the Alders and a Chiffchaff in full song, further along the track. Not a bad mornings entertainment!

A post-breeding gathering of Swallow on the wires, down The Street

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