Thursday, 16 February 2012

More Wigeon Fun!

This morning, I wanted to give the marshes and other Ibis-friendly sites a good look over. Lower Bruckland Ponds, the Estuary, Bridge Marsh, Black Hole Marsh, Colyford Common, Colyford Marsh and Seaton Marshes were all visited in the first couple of hours of today. No Ibis!

The Cetti's Warbler was still at Lower Bruckland Ponds, calling and singing early this morning. On Bridge Marsh, eight Ruff were amongst the Lapwings (there were nine here yesterday).

Black Hole Marsh was rather quiet, but overhead a few Mipits and a Skylark flew over, making me wonder whether they were genuine migrants? It really did feel spring-like out there today.

My last stop was Seaton Marshes, I really should come here more often - it was crammed with duck! My best estimates being 450 Wigeon, 100 Teal, 14 Shoveler and a cracking drake Pintail on the lagoon...

What a stunner!

After enjoying this beastie, I turned my attention back to the Wigeon flock, and soon turned up the pale female (see HERE and HERE).

It is very striking bird, and is always very easy to pick out...

The upper left bird in the top photo, and middle bird in bottom photo

And by total fluke, I managed to get an underwing photo as the flock took flight...

The top right bird (about to fly out of shot!!). Looks nice and white doesn't it :-)

I have to say though, when I cropped this photo and zoomed in a little more, it shows it to be a bit less white and a tad more grey...

Hmmmmmm....

It was all looking good for it being an American Wigeon despite these 'not quite white' underwings. Well it was until Gav got an upperwing shot, which flushed the fuss right down the toilet. Now it seems this bird is just one of those odd pale female Eurasian Wigeons..... bums!

So, what an exciting day of ups, downs, and learning. I think I need to sit back and chill for a bit before I go to work! Oh, I know, gazing at this for a while may help....

Yeah, that helps....

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