Thursday, 2 April 2009

Lesser Scaup for lesser boredom, 1st April

Yesterday (Wednesday 1st), I decided that to relieve the monotony of Green Sandpipers and Little Ringed Plovers on the patch, I'd go for Alan Clewes' long-staying Lesser Scaup at Holme Pierrepont, Nottinghamshire. I was surprised at how smoothly the journey went, arriving there no more than 55 minutes after leaving my front door. With the sun shining, it truly felt spring had arrived. To celebrate I did something seasonal, and grilled the good numbers of aythya present on A52 Pit. It took me a few minutes, but eventually I located the drake Lesser Scaup on its own in the near corner of the pit. Typically, the bird spent 95% of its time asleep in the half hour I gave it to perform. A near-pristine bird, it still retained some brown feathering on the upper flanks, but otherwise was looking splendid. It had a strong purple sheen to the head when catching the light, and a clear peak at the hindcrown. Black was limited to the nail of the bill, and the grey mantle was coarsely vermiculated. It was very slightly smaller than the accompanying Tufted Ducks.

drake Lesser Scaup, 1st April

The bird swam off towards the centre of the pit with Tufted Ducks (thus becoming much more distant), so I decided to sack it off and head home. I can't help but wonder how long it will be before Lesser Scaup falls in the Peterborough area - it must be overdue - next stop BLGP?

Talking of BLGP, I gave it a quick once-over in the evening. Much the same as in previous days, with a Buzzard, 3 Little Egrets, 5 Goldeneye, 2 Shoveler, Snipe, 2 Little Ringed and 2 Ringed Plovers, Redshank and c.10 Teal. The highlight was a splendid White Wagtail on the New Works, my second of the spring here.

On Tuesday (31st), BLGP gave 2 Green Sandpipers, 2 Little Egrets, 2-3 'Nordic' Jackdaws, 17 Fieldfares, 2 Redshank, a singing Chiffchaff and 3+ singing Corn Buntings.

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