Sunday, 16 November 2014

November spawned a .......Garganey

Foggy November mornings are not ideal for searching out birds across the Washes and even as the gloom cleared we were unable to find the Green-winged Teal that had been found at Witcham Gravel the day before.  We checked through a flock of presumed Wigeon in the murk looking for little duck and Ben commented on the Trumpeter like features of the Swan with the group.  Scopes at full zoom through the gloom it was still showing bill patterning in line with a Trumpeter and we began to discuss the bird a little more.  A couple of dogs swam into the wildfowl, how strange they don't spook the assembled duck and why... there's a bloke there, thigh high in the water picking up the swan.  Call it a trick of the mist or more likely birding ineptitude but we had been duped, all the birds were decoys.   At least this explained the Nearctic origins of the Swan, and we can take some ironic pleasure in knowing that we had successfully identified the decoy swan to species, how we laughed across the dewy cradge bank.

Heading to Welney to have a look for Buzzards the fog thickened and a walk across the fields was at best enigmatic but it was inevitably impossible conditions for raptor watching.  A return look through the video footage of last week's Rough-Leg revealed this freeze frame which by no means conclusively identifies the bird as a Rough-Leg but does, I think, eliminate Ben's pale Buzzard on tail pattern.

Returning to the uplands of Ely the fog cleared again and a quick look on the settling beds produced a Bittern that flew a short distance appearing to have been spooked by a low flying Cormorant. This is the first Bittern I've seen here for many, many months and a Cetti's Warbler burst forth in song to celebrate.  Later in the day an unseasonal Garganey was a found with the Teal flock,  and it was still present this morning when I was able to excel again in the esoteric art of blurry bird video.