Thursday 25 April 2013

Ring-necked Duck, Lade

Lade - 0730hrs - mild, foggy, sw 1 - Yet again this morning we awoke to a shroud of sea mist smothering the peninsula, which prevent an early seawatch at the point. However, as the saying goes every cloud has a silver lining and over the local patch a cracking drake Ring-necked duck loomed out of the swirling mist on south pit and onto the Marsh year list (171); it was also a personal site tick. Although lurking amongst a group of Tufted Ducks the distinctive head shape, white vertical body slot and bill stripes were immediately apparent. Texted out the news and the first bird hounds were on site in 15 minutes, including PB our newest resident Marsh birder.
I returned a couple of hours later once the fog had lifted and the Ring-necked was just about as far away as it could be feeding beside a distant reedbed with Pochards. With warm sunshine bouncing off the shingle Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and Common Buzzard were all up and soaring behind the `mirrors`. Also noted 6 Whimbrel and a Greenshank over, Yellow Wagtail, Cuckoo and the ever present Med Gulls calling overhead.
A couple of afternoon visits failed to relocate the duck, although it could have retreated into the reeds. Common Sandpiper and Little Gull on south pit, plus at least 5 grass snakes and loads of marsh frogs active on the walk to the swing-bridge provided ample compensation.

         Ring-necked Duck, Lade - a dreadful record shot in the early morning gloom

ARC - Finally caught up with Spotted Redshank (172) for the year from the causeway road working its way in and out of the willow scrub. Also here 2 Little Egrets and a Whimbrel. Also on the bird reserve today a Wood Sandpiper on the Dengemarsh flood (PB).

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