Dec 302016

A juvenile Surf Scoter was discovered at Rutland Water a few days ago, another rare sea duck on an inland water. I decided to go and see it this morning (30th Dec) as it was another opportunity to observe a rare scoter at close quarters. Juvenile Surf Scoter are simply dark brown with several small off-white facial spots. One just below and to the rear of the eye and one at the base of the large, broad and deeply triangular shaped bill. The lack of a white wing bar helps to eliminate Velvet Scoter. The weather this morning was terrible off the dam wall with thick fog and so I was only able to get a record shot of this superb bird. Later in the morning at the north end of the reservoir, the sun came out briefly and visibility was much improved. From the north arm there were 3 Great White Egret, a drake Green-winged Teal and a Slavonian Grebe amongst the thousands of common waterfowl present. So, my 2016 Year List finishes on 242. I had two British Ticks during the year – Western Purple Swamphen and Siberian Accentor. I wonder what 2017 will bring in a new Birding Year?..

Surf Scoter – Juvenile – Rutland Water, Leicestershire – Tony Davison©


Dec 182016
Local patch Megas still present

The two Velvet Scoters, probably a female and a first winter drake, were still present today at Staunton Harold Reservoir, South Derbyshire. This morning, I was fortunate enough to be taken out onto the water in one of the local Yacht Club’s Ribs and was able to get a few good shots of one of the birds in flight, before this area of water was covered in sailing boats, thus moving virtually all of the wildfowl, in the dam area, down to the southern end. They were still showing well from the southern end during mid to  late afternoon, feeding […]

Dec 162016
A Staunton Harold MEGA

This morning, 16th December, I decided to call in on my local patch at Staunton Harold Reservoir, as I often do before heading off to work. The last few days I’ve not been able to visit, due to business commitments and customer appointments. I held out little hope for anything good, as most days its just the usual suspects, a few Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Black-headed Gull and Tufted Duck, in fact many, many mornings this is the norm. I pulled up in the car park as normal, wound down the car window and settled down to start looking through […]

Dec 122016
Second Bite at the Dusky Thrush

As the Dusky Thrush was still frequenting gardens and fields around the small Derbyshire village of Beeley, I decided to go back on Sunday for another viewing, in the hope of getting some better images. This bird is proving to be very difficult to obtain a really good photograph, despite a number of good efforts from a wide range of well known bird photographers. The weather has been the main culprit, as yet I don’t think there has been a full sunny day since it was discovered a week ago. It has always been very grey, cloudy, misty and foggy, […]

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