Rich went to check out a female Long-tailed Duck a couple of Sundays ago when it first turned up on a small park lake, festering with McDonald's wrappers and various other bits of everyday urban detritus, in the middle of Peckham. By the time I got round to twitching it on the Tuesday it had disappeared, only to turn up again on James L's patch in Greenwich Park on the Friday. Rich had been livid that the duck had overflown his patch in Rotherhithe but, while slightly intoxicated in Manchester on Saturday afternoon, I received a call from him and instantly recognised the urgency in his tone. My heart sank. "Bollocks", I cursed, "this is going to be mega".
But no, thankfully not. It transpired that the duck had relocated to Canada Water, an empty Coke can's throw from Rich's flat. Here it has since remained to the time of writing [13th], showing extremely well at times but often diving around in the middle of the lake. I managed to fit in half an hour or so with the bird on Tuesday evening prior to my football game, though it primarily remained distant aside for a brief period when it unwittingly floated in to the margins as it preened. Sadly it didn't seem fond of the cheap white baps I'd brought along and, with light pretty poor, my shots aren't great. Needless to say, Jono Lethbridge has some considerably more appealing images.
Hopefully London's latest summer hit will hang around a few weeks longer. If it does, I'll be sure to head back down in proper light, armed with some hearty seed-filled goodness.