Saturday, 26 March 2016

Disappearing ducks

     After yesterday's fantastic day with my first London Ospreys among 70 species seen in lovely weather, today was always going to be a bit of a 'After the Lord Mayor's Show' event. But as I trudged round a dull and windy Lockwood seeing absolutely nothing - even the Goldeneye eluded me - I thought it did not have to be this bad. East Warwick seemed no better with a scan from the hide confirming that Graham's Dunlin had also departed.

      But as I walked down the steps, I looked at No 1 in a rather hopeful attempt to find Garganey when I saw a pair of Red-Crested Pochard resting against the island. Stuart had seen a pair on East Warwick early in the morning two days before - the first for the patch this year - but they had gone missing by the time I got there. Nor had we seen them yesterday. It was at the very edge of the range for my pocket camera but I took a couple of pictures only to find a second drake drifting into view. I had no idea where it came from and no idea where they went again either. Because by the time I had walked around East Warwick and had a quick look at its western counterpart - seeing four Sand Martins and a Swallow -  they had all disappeared again.

          They did, however, help solve the puzzle of just how many pairs of Peregrines we have on the patch which had been a matter of discussion yesterday. When I rang the Prof who was at the Waterworks about the Pochards, he mentioned that he had just had a female Peregrine with prey and a male close by fly over. Just a minute or so after the call, a female with prey landed on the pylon above the No 3 hide, closely followed by a noisy male (it seems a bit of a one-sided relationship if you ask me). So it seems as if the regular Waterworks pair and the pair at the south end of the reservoirs are the same as we thought.

     DB @porthkillier

PS: They did the same trick on the 27th as well. We did not see them despite looking as we walked round early morning but a pair had re-appeared by 10 am only to going missing again in the afternoon.

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