Sunday, 26 February 2017

Duck Days

I really should go out for ducks more. I promise myself every year that I'll devote the winter to photographing ducks in their finery, and then I look outside at the grey skies and the wind ripping up the puddles and go and do something else. I am weak. Today I finally got a nice big piece of glass between me and a duck, and I enjoyed it a lot. So much so I'm wondering whether next weekend might see more of the same.

I didn't actually go out for ducks today, I nipped out to see if I could find yesterday's Med Gull. I couldn't, instead finding about 250 footballers. My stupid fault for leaving at 11am rather than a few hours earlier. Still, it was lovely slow morning involving coffee and a sofa so I can't really complain. I tracked down the side of the Western Flats and crossed the road over to the Jubilee Pond in case it was on there. It wasn't, but there was a funny-looking duck in the far corner behind one of the semi-submerged wirefences. At first I thought it was one of those exotic teal things, but then it dawned on me that it was a female Red-crested Pochard. I don't see these very often, but today I got excellent views. Too excellent some might say. This is one of those species that you always have to treat with a healthy degree of scepticism, and this bird was no stranger to bread and people. That said, the population at Victoria Park - probably the closest to Wanstead - probably see their fair share of Mother's Pride as well, so who knows? If we discounted every duck that was partial to a bit of crust.....

How I first saw it. Apt some might say.

The Wigeon on Shoulder of Mutton showed a lot more class happily. It's been around for over a month now on and off, and seeing as I had a camera on me which is not always a given these days I thought I would give it a go. It came quite close, but not disgracefully so. Wigeon is guaranteed annually, but is not so common as to be ignorable when the first one gets found in January or February. I rapidly twitched this one about six weeks ago, hence why it is still here in exactly the same place...