Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Spotted Drake

Eclipse drake garganey
After making a declaration that the garganey at Freeman's Pools yesterday was either a female or juvenile bird I am now pleased to say that it was neither!

I checked the pools this morning but could only find a single female tufted duck and the two common teal that the garganey had been with the previous day. Assuming it had flown to some other glamorous destination I continued my rounds of the patch.
The three ruddy shelduck were remaining faithful to the Wildfowlers' Pools and there were now a trio of green sandpiper present, along with a juvenile little ringed plover. A couple of snipe were feeding in the long channel.
It was good to see fledged broods of both linnet and greenfinch here.

I had a quick look on The Flood and low and behold - there was 'my' garganey. From the upper cinder track I was able to get far better views than I did yesterday and even managed a couple of snaps through my 'scope.
Having ruled out a juvenile bird, I was fairly happy that it was an adult female - until it briefly stretched its wings and showed the distinctive upper wing pattern of an adult male. So, it would appear in fact to be an adult drake in eclipse plumage. Ta-dah!

A cursory look at the river from the mouth of the The Channel revealed little of note bar a fishing common tern, a lone common sandpiper and multiple little egrets.
The highlight was seeing my first Lune shelduck brood of the year - a pair with 7 young duckling on Colloway Marsh.

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