Saturday 6 April 2013

Ducking and diving

Just a few quick record shots from a full day in the field in London – three species that are all somewhere between scarce and rare in the area. The first two birds, a female 1st-summer male Long-tailed Duck and a female Scaup, were seen on the KGV Reservoir. [edit: thanks to Barry’s attention to detail, it’s been pointed out that I screwed up the ID of the LTD: it’s a boy, not a girl! The pink panel on the bill is the giveaway, as well as the white scaps and crown…]


The third, the rarest of the lot, a Red-throated Diver, was on the Thames at Rainham. Thanks to Jonathan Wasse and Shaun Harvey for the tweets to get the news out.


Sadly this bird doesn’t appear to have a bright future, with a large oil patch on its flanks and vent, and in its constant effort to preen, it must be ingesting a fair amount of toxic rubbish. On a couple of occasions, it hauled itself out onto the soft mud in Aveley Bay… not the act of a healthy bird, and pretty depressing to watch.

Hoping for something a bit more cheery tomorrow.

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