17.1.16

Freezing Day Birding

I went back to Priory Water with Sam, hoping to see 'A43' again but sadly no sign, with there being some hard cold night recently, we arrived to around 80% of Priory Water frozen over, this in some cases made it easier to count!

Only area that wasn't frozen!

Had a nice surprise of 9 Goosander in a decent flock, as well as c50 Teal, c30 Wigeon and the odd Gadwall. In the nearby trees we got some very good views of a small flock of Siskin (c10), after a bit of a search we managed to find a Little Grebe (not very common at Priory) and Sam found a Water Rail! The first of the year for me and first for this site, it was quite amusing to watch it walk briefly across the ice.
But it wasn't till we were on our way back did Sam find the 1st Scaup, which was another reason for visiting. Last time i was there it was still very brown and (juvenile) looking, but now it almost looked like an adult with the white back and lovely green sheen on its head when the light caught it. We watched the Scaup for the next 3/4 hour, till we head strange noises coming from the ice, turned out to be a young Mute Swan skidding along the ice trying to get to land.

Here are a series of Scaup photos taken from my DSLR though the telescope. Plus photos of the Mute Swan.
1st Winter Scaup

1st Winter Scaup

1st Winter Scaup

1st Winter Scaup

1st Winter Scaup with Tufted Ducks
Mute Swan skating

Mute Swan skating

Mute Swan