Choppy Waters and Rare Ducks

Thursday 8th December

The female/immature Blue-winged Teal was in its favoured corner (north-west) on Longham Reservoir South at lunchtime today, looking contentedly settled – not only in its choice of locality, but also in its regard for one of the local Shovelers. The two seem to be inseparable: feeding together, flying together, milling about like two besotted teenagers. Find one, you find the other.

Despite very windy and choppy conditions, the bird was showing extremly well today close in to shore, showing off such features at the pale spot at the base of the bill and the narrow white eye-ring. When it flew, which it did often, the blue forewing was obvious even at long range. However, the difficult conditions made Scaup-hunting extremely difficult and neither this bird nor the Ferrguinous (hybrid) were on display. However, Kingfishers are very much in evidence at the moment, and the range of wildfowl does still include 1 surprisingly tame Goosander.

Wednesday 7th December

Thankfully for this observer at least, the Blue-winged Teal remained on site (although maddeningly mobile and elusive) today. I more or less hopped off the plane straight to Longham Lakes, and was indebted to a couple of visiting birders from Weymouth who were able to put me straight on to it (thanks, guys). What a relief. They had also seen the Scaup, and other goodies included a Peregrine carrying prey.

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