Durham Bird Club's Castle Lake Nature Reserve

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Scope For A Scaup

This afternoon's late afternoon/early evening visit to Castle Lake resulted in a rather unexpected year patch tick with a slightly unseasonal drake Scaup mingling amongst some Tufties. Only my second ever here, the first, also a drake, was back on 29th December 2008 and that, as today's, was self-found.
As is to be expected with this species it dived frequently spending more time underwater than above it, but eventually after a spot of preening it clambered onto an Island and went to sleep.

Pictures below are the best of a bad bunch;

Apart from the Scaup, the other birds of interest were nine different wader species including 10+ Little Ringed Plover, 1 Snipe, 1 summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit, 2 juvenile Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 2 Green Sandpiper and 6 but possibly as many as 8 Common Sandpiper.

sp Blackwit and...

...the two juvenile Redshank

There's been a sudden increase in the number of Greylag Geese around recently and 105 were on Castle Lake this evening, 3 Little Egret were seen in flight, one dropped down into Fishburn Lake, while two together over Low Hardwick headed south, a Sparrowhawk put quite a few birds into the usual panic, 6 Kestrel in the air at the same time over Low Hardwick, whilst a single Common Tern fished the lake before heading off eastwards.

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