Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The last twitch of the year

I didn't expect to add anymore birds to my year list at this late stage of the game. But, you never know in birding.

Reports of long staying Velvet Scoter and Ring-Necked Duck were proving hard to ignore. I found myself free to please myself on Christmas Eve day, so decided to try my luck. The storm of the previous day and night made the journey longer than anticipated with a couple of detours due to flooding. Eventually, I made it to my destination.

The first birds I stumbled upon were a bonus year tick, I wasn't expecting, a pair of Ruddy Shelduck. They were distant and I couldn't get a good picture.

Distant Pair Ruddy Shelduck. iPhone through scope.

The wind blowing straight into me was bitter, I couldn't locate my target birds so moved on, but not before a Red Kite flew low overhead giving some stunning views.

I heard the Velvet Scoter had been sighted in front of the Fisherman's lodge, so headed there. It gave some great views and was a life tick too.

The dam wall at Eyebrook


Video of Velvet Scoter

On the walk back to the car, I got Male Smew, stunning bird and spent a while watching it.

I then luckily walked past a guy scanning the water who informed me he was on the female Ring-Necked Duck. Once he relocated it after a dive, he allowed me to view it through his Swaro Scope. I set my own scope up and followed it for a while, more birders arrived and everyone saw it. Again, a lifer for me.

All in all, a cracking days birding to see out 2013.


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