In search of a Garganey

London Wetland Centre

After being at home all last week due to a health issue, I was keen to get out again this week. I usually find that one species at least tends to evade me each year and no matter how I try, I don’t seem to be able to see it. This year it is shaping up to be the Garganey, a small, secretive migrant duck which comes to the UK to breed.

So on hearing that a pair have been at the London Wetland Centre for a few days I set off to see if I could see them. I am sure many of you can guess what is coming, but I arrived to hear that they had that morning relocated from the vegetation sparse wader scrape to the lush vegetation of the freshwater marsh. It was going to be like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. And so it proved and I came away still without seeing a Garganey in 2022.

However it was not a wasted trip as a Little Ringed Plover, a stunning male Northern Wheatear and a Great White Egret (rarely seen at the centre) were all excellent birds to see alongside the usual cast of Wetland birds.

So despite the non-appearing Garganey it was a good day.

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