29 December 2010

Scaup-fest at Slimbridge.

Well, two Scaup.

Slimbridge has delivered the goods recently. Hot on the heels of the Gannet and Woodcock last week, two 1w Greater Scaup were found on the Rushy Pen yesterday. Despite foggy conditions, they were too big a lure.

One male, one female. The male was beginning to show the lovely grey vermiculations typical of an adult bird. It was good to see two examples of the species at an age I'd not seen before. Indeed, in with all the other birds present on the Rushy - particularly all the Tufties - the difference in scale between Scaup and Tufted Duck was extremely apparent. Close views most useful.

My only two previous Scaup sightings were the adult male at Cotwsold Water Park (West) and the female I spotted distantly at sea just off Hinkley Point in Somerset. Both were in March of this year.

I went down to the Kingfisher Hide, but the Whitefronts were absent, so as a last resort I tried the feeders enroute to the Holden Tower. Not only did the Great Spotted Woodpecker pay me another visit, but the (seemingly) resident Water Rail also showed very well.

That was my third Water Rail of the year. The first came on January 1st from the 100 Acre viewing platform at Frampton (it stood out on the ice at the rear), and the second came at the second hide down from the road (or first from the beach) at Porth Hellick on Scilly in September.

No comments: