Sunday, 27 January 2013

Tundra Bean Geese - North Duffield

Today was a pretty decent day! Most of the snow from Saturday had gone due to some very heavy rain and an increase in temperature. Started off at North Duffield Carrs (Geoff Smith Hide) during a very heavy shower - the theme of the day.

Lots of the usual, Whoopers c80, Mutes c60, Black Swan, Pochard 97, Tufted Duck c80 - no sign of the 1st winter drake Greater Scaup or the Aythya hybrid - lots of Pintail, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard and a noticeable increase in Gadwall, c15 birds. A flock of 75 Dunlin and 1 Ruff flew SE - presumably to Bubwith.  There was a handful of Greylag and Canadas on the water but nothing special. Buzzard, Kestrel and 2 male Sparrowhawks (displaying) were the only raptors I remember seeing. A very very distant speck delayed me from leaving the hide - I'm glad it did for what happened next. Two geese flew in from Bubwith, right in front of the hide and at eye level - two Tundra Bean Geese!! Great birds! They were really low and for a moment I thought and hoped that they were going to drop down but they carried on. Then the dreaded moment - the thought that these birds have just flown straight past my house! What a garden tick that would have been!

A short sharp shower!

Next stop was Bubwith Bridge: 12 Redshank, 15 Ruff, 85 Dunlin, 4 Golden Plover, 60+ Lapwing, little else of note. Then Aughton: 1 Curlew (flew north) and a good range of duck.

The afternoon then got interesting as I headed across to Wheldrake Ings, the water was just starting to flood the Ings but I thought I'd have a quick look from Tower Hide. Glad I did as there was two stunning drake Scaup on the floods (record shot from phone below taken through the vegetation), along with more of the same as North Duffield - with the addition of Little Grebe (on river), Shoveler and Water Rail.

Just as I was leaving Wheldrake I got a message that there was a Knot at Heslington, so I took a quick detour on the way home and manage to find the bird, along with Tim. I was very pleased to connect up with the Knot as I missed the last one last year. I got a record shot on my phone, by this point it was about 5pm and dark!

2x Greater Scaup (phone-scoped)

2x Greater Scaup (phone-scoped)

2x Greater Scaup (phone-scoped)

2x Greater Scaup (phone-scoped)

Knot! (phone-scoped in the dark!)

Knot! (phone-scoped in the dark!)

4 comments:

  1. I should have carried on to the hides, d'oh! Oh well happy with Willow Tit!

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    1. Haha, always the way!! Was a bit touch and go with the water levels rapidly increasing!!

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  2. Liking the image of the double rainbow! very nice

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    1. Thanks :-) was pretty spectacular!

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