A Long-tailed Duck appeared in Peckham the other day. Not the most obvious place for one to turn up, but seeing as I've now seen more LTDs in London than Mallards, frankly it appears they can get anywhere. I went about five years without seeing a local one, but between last November and today I'd seen 283,990 within ten miles of my house. Once Peckham has been checked out, the bird wisely moved on, heading to a duck pond in Greenwich. Go and see it, urged James L, it shows like a dream. No time, grrrrr. I considered going to see it there on Saturday morning, but failed to wake up, and in the event it wasn't there anyway, having now decided that Rotherhithe was where it was at, which is where Rich B found it a little later. Come and see it, he urged, and bring a long lens! But cousin Emma would not have been pleased if I'd chosen a duck over her wedding, so I decided to give it a miss. However as of yesterday evening it was still there, so on the off-chance that it might still be there today, I bowled up to work in Canary Wharf toting my camera bag.
It was still there, and I got regular updates during the day of its continued presence. This caused me to press the sod-it button relatively early this evening, and one short tube stop later I was staring at my 283,991st London Long-tailed Duck. Sweet. Except that it stayed resolutely in the centre of Canada Water. Rich, still at work, suggested finding some bread to tempt the Tufties in, the thinking being that the LTD would likely follow. So I toddled off to Tescos with my 500mm under my arm and bought a loaf for 90p, getting some pretty strange looks.
It worked like a charm, though the LTD probably ate more bread than the Tufties, ahem. I had to become a temporary member of the Rotherhithe Angling Club in order to get low to the water; nothing like trashing a pin-striped suit with a bit of guano in the pursuit of art and happiness. In the end Rich couldn't resist the lure of seeing it yet again, and so came down and joined me for what was some quality pappage. Gazillions more photos here. A Common Tern was also hanging around, so I papped that too. It's what people like me do.