When Jamie and I worked the reservoirs, hard, last Thursday, one of the species foremost in my mind was Scaup. Almost annual on the patch and absent so far this year, weather turning cold, Wildfowl moving, there had to be a chance didn’t there? It turned out the chance was fat (seems to be an obsession with weight on this blog!).
Fast forward to this morning and I get a text from Pete L:
|I'm watching you|
‘Poss male Scaup on No 4 Res wjith tufted ducks’
followed shortly by:
‘On way home now. Head and plumage of ‘scaup’ lonk ok for pure bred bird. Only one brief view of bill, thats’ what needs a check’
I sort of got his driftJ
|Black on nail only|
I wasn’t free till 13:00 but got down there straight away. The bird was in the North-west corner and quite close to the bank. Mostly dozing, though with one eye on me, it certainly looked the part but the crucial thing was the nail. Long story short it was ok. A personal and patch year tick to boot. The bird does like to keep its head tucked in though! So here’s the incontrovertible proof.
Pete also had two Common Sandpipers together on No.5 and yesterday a drake Goosander on the Banbury which might be viewable from Sandpiper Close E17. These Goosander are very skittish on the patch so the Banbury being fairly ‘Eintritt verboten’ might mean it stays put awhile.
I knew I should not have said ‘....but it’s nearly over’ too soon as with the Scaup and yesterdays Merlin (Stuart F had one, a probable female, zooming over the Jubilee Park towards Hackney Marshes) that puts the patch on 137 for the year.
Thanks to Pete and Stuart.