Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Duck Days

I really didn’t think I would get out today what with the grey dawn that precludes much camera work, the cold easterlies, a lack of general enthusiasm and a promise to look after Little Paul that would take up our afternoon.

After I missed the Ring-necked Duck yesterday I must admit I wasn’t in a great hurry to get out to Fleetwood to catch up but when a phone call told me the said bird had relocated to this side of the river within a mile from home at Preesall Flashes, I motored down Back Lane. In fact I am ashamed to say it was almost a trip down Memory Lane as I visit the flashes very infrequently nowadays, and whilst I found the car park, the other paths were less familiar.

The duck was there of course, in the deep unfrozen waters of the long expired salt pits amongst a flotilla of other related but less exotic athyas, 4 Tufted Duck and a dozen or so Pochard, but so easy to pick out it is such a striking drake.

Ring-necked Duck


Tuftede Duck


Pochard


I guess that the open water has also increased the Coot count lately. Therefore a count of 200+ was good to see even if they all kept their distance, unlike the normal suburban park example.

Coot


Likewise the several hundred Mallard, with an enormous concentration on the whole flashes, but most of them are of the “released for sport” variety. Exotica appeared again in the form of 2 drakes and 1 female Mandarin, origin unknown but I must check with my pal Graham who has/had a couple in a plastic pool at his back door a few weeks ago.

Mallard


Mandarin


More legitimate was the sight of two Great-crested Grebe, several Teal and a couple of female Goldeneye, all long standing visitors to the flashes.

Great-crested Grebe


Teal


Goldeneye


Back at home I still have a dozen Chaffinch and a dozen Blackbirds in the semi frozen garden. And today a male Sparrowhawk that put in a brief but noticeable appearance that scattered all and sundry.

A trip around some of my more usual haunts tomorrow I think.

2 comments:

Errol said...

The ducks always look better on the water; pics in the hand after a few hours (at night) in the keeping boxes doesn't do their image any good!
Happy New Year, Phil. May it come up to standard!!

Phil said...

Hi Errol
Happy New Year to you too. Keep up the ringing and the blogging. Phil

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