I completed a 5 mile walk this afternoon, incorporating my local patch of Staunton Harold Reservoir. Heavy snowfall from yesterday and over night frost had made local road conditions very difficult. The weather today, however, was glorious, making the countryside very picturesque.
I thought I would stand a good chance today of finding a Yellowhammer at the feeders, due to the heavy snowfall. Sure enough there was at least 1 male feeding amongst the small numbers of Chaffinch. I also found a Meadow Pipit along the shoreline of the reservoir, unusual for this time of year and noticed an obvious influx of Tufted Duck, c50, when in recent days and weeks there have only been up to 30. I thought to myself, keep an eye out for the Ring-necked Duck.
As I was about to leave, I scanned the open water one last time in front of the yacht club and hey presto, looks like the Ring-necked Duck. Moving off to the shoreline for a closer look and sure enough it was the drake Ring-necked Duck. I managed a few record shots before it drifted out into the middle of the reservoir. Remarkable as it has not been seen for several weeks. The bird must be hiding away somewhere on a local pool and when it gets frozen out, it returns to Staunton Harold Reservoir. I nice bird to have on my 2 kilometres from home list.