Posts Tagged ‘Scaup’

 

A bright winters day and a trip to Walthamstow Wetlands in east London, in search of a Little Bunting which has been present for a number of weeks. This rare visitor to the UK breeds in Northern Norway and Russia and winters in Nepal and China, so this bird is way off course. By nature, it is a skulking bird so on arriving at the area where it had been seen it was just a case of scanning all the small birds coming to the feeding tray. It took about 90 minutes but eventually, I saw a small bird moving behind the tray and then there it was, clearly visible. It moved quickly to the right and then disappeared into the vegetation. Some others present continued to see it for a minute or so in the vegetation but then it was gone. I later heard that it came back about 2 hours later.

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Little Bunting. Photo by Vince Garvey (https://www.flickr.com/photos/baggieman/)

After this, I took a walk around the reservoirs where the usual array of waterfowl were present. The highlight was a drake Greater Scaup, which is not common inland so was a good record.

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Greater Scaup (m). Photo by Andrew Reding (https://www.flickr.com/photos/seaotter/)

Great Crested Grebe

Grey Heron

Common Linnet (top), Great Cormorant (bottom left), Canada Goose (bottom right)

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Feral Dove [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Linnet [sp] (Linaria cannabina)
Little Bunting (Emberiza pusilla)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

After Keith and I have finished the tour at Lord’s we walk the short distance to Regents Park.

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In the enclosure we see a Male Scaup which seems intent on following a male Smew wherever it goes. This is most strange behavior and I have certainly never seen anything like it before.

Smew and Scaup

Scaup and Smew

We stop to see a young Grey Heron trying to eat a frog it has found in the water margins. Eventually it figures out how to swallow it.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

On the Lake there is a large raft of Coot.

Coot

Coot

There are plenty of Canada, Greylag and Egyptian Geese either on the lake or grazing on the lawns.

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Just before we leave the park we pass the Heronry and can see that a few pairs of Grey Herons are already occupying nests

Heronry

Heronry

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Keith and I are in London to visit Lord’s cricket ground, but we stop off at Hyde Park on the way for a spot of birdwatching.

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First stop is to see if the Male Tawny Owl is on his usual roost tree but when we arrive he is not there and a search of the surrounding trees doesn’t find him.

Whilst we are looking for the Owl, Keith is buzzed by a Blue Tit and as we know that some people feed the birds here, we decide to give it try and are soon the centre of attention for a small group of Blue Tits and Great Tits.

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

Great Tit

Great Tit

A Jay comes to have a look but cant quite build up the courage to come close.

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Then down to the Serpentine to see if we can locate the male Scaup, which we had seen here in January and which has stayed around ever since. We soon find him in the middle of the Serpentine (The large lake which runs north to south and divides the park in two) and as he moves around we are able to get some photos. He is no longer in his 1st winter plumage as he was when we saw him a couple of months back but is in full adult plumage.

Scaup

Scaup

Scaup

Scaup

We get a close view of a drake Mandarin Duck in the same area. This exotic species was introduced into this country for ornament on the lakes of country houses but has escaped and now breeds in the wild.

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Then it is time for us to leave but a very enjoyable and profitable hour’s birdwatching.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)