I set off for a walk on the patch in Thetford Forest at 0640, the woodland and clearings was shrouded in grey with trees silhouetted against the dull sky.
Although early, Redwings were heard in woodland along with a close calling Tawny Owl which attracted angry, chattering Blackbirds. A couple of Bullfinches gave their 'piping' calls in the dark woodland.
Suddenly, I stopped, movement ahead on the trail, a small heard of Red Deer hinds froze to look in my direction, they then continued slowly into a clearing.
A second Red Deer herd seen a short time later, a magnificent stag, a couple of young stags, and hinds slowly moved through a clearing occasionally stopping and looking my way.
With increasing light I visited a local mere where many wildfowl were present including Greylag and Canada Geese, Mute Swans, lots of Mallard, a male Wigeon, 3 Gadwall, and later, 7 Mandarins (4 males) flew in and offered reasonable views despite the poor light and conditions.
1 Grey Heron, 1 Cormorant, and at least 5 Little Grebes seen.
In dense reeds and Sallow habitat Water Rails called and singing Cetti's Warbler heard.
|Mandarins should be easily picked out in this picture 16th November.|
|Gorgeous Mandarins 16th November|
|Note the bespectacled appearance of the grey looking female Mandarins|
|7 Mandarins (4 males) present.|