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Yesterday’s walk along the Ely river embankment was a mix of treats and unexpectedness. The first unexpected treat was the large number of both Sand and House martins flying low along the embankment: the air around me was alive with their close flypasts and their noisy chirruping. I’ve no photos of them – I was too intent on enjoying their proximity.

200508 grey wagtail (1)

Next up was the sight of a family of Grey wagtails, two adults and their three offspring, flitting about amongst the stones at the water’s edge.

200508 thick-lipped grey mullet (1)

200508 thick-lipped grey mullet (2)

The Grey wagtail fledgling helps to show the size of the fish

While watching the wagtails, I noticed the water churning at various points along the river’s edge. It was being caused by large fish, feeding on the weed that’s growing on the stones just under the water. Thanks to one of my Twitter pals, Tate, I later learned they were Thick-lipped grey mullet, which can grow ‘to huge sizes’ and which are ‘mostly a saltwater fish but can tolerate fresh water quite far up rivers’.

200508 duckling (2)

After unexpectedly bumping in to a birding friend and enjoying a chat to a real live person (a rare treat in these days of lockdown), my final wild treat was seeing these two Mallard ducklings, meandering along the river with their mother.

200508 duckling (1)