At 4:30 this afternoon the news broke, a mega had dropped at The Lodge. Local birder Phil Hasell was photographing redpolls from the hide on the meadow and a pair of Mandarin had dropped in - a site first.
Well, at least since the previous owner of The Lodge kept them in his swimming pool in the early 1900's.
The news was quickly disseminated, and as I rushed to the hide after asking the wonderful receptionists to put me on DND for a few minutes and considering the possibility of an early April Fool, a mass twitch was in progress, conceivably the first time any of the four of us had ever undertaken a 400 yard twitch for Mandarin.
There they were; the female prospecting and the male standing guard as she inspected the hole and cleared out any debris. Handsome birds, male and female both, and thankfully an introduced species that is not of conservation concern. If they take up residence and breed, I hope they won't be disturbed too much.
Species added today: