The Safari knew one would turn up, we had hoped it was going to be yesterday when we were out on the nature reserve in all that blistering sunshine; of course it wasn't to be as it turned up today in gloomy overcast conditions. But what was it?
Many years ago a secretary was typing up the Bird Report for us and wasn't familiar with 1) birds and 2) our handwriting and 3) no-one did much proof-reading so when readers got to the ducks section they found a new species for the world in there...the Grey Garvey...aka Garganey (157, MMLNR #103) if you hadn't already guessed...our handwriting musta been pretty bad!
Well today's bird was a little stunner, a drake with a super supercilium and a stonking set of scapulars, we managed a quick quarter of an hour at the reserve instead of our usual Patch 2 shuffy and are really glad we made the decision to go and see this beaut! normally we get to see females or late summer eclipse males or juveniles, it's ages since we've seen a full sum plum drake and this one wasn't juts resting half hidden in the reeds ohhh noo sirre...it was moving around feeding like a gud un with a few teal...splendid stuff! Given the fact that it was dull and the bird was on the scrape, a fair distance away we didn't take the camera but MMcG's pic linked above gives you the feel of what it was doing.
Thanks to TR for the blimp down his scope before he set off for some sandwiches the wild wastes of the marsh.
Patch 2 early doors didn't produce much, a couple of Manxies, a handful of feeding Kittiwakes, not far offshore but along way north, and auk sp speeding by in the distance and nine Red Throated Divers, eight south and one, the usual one (?) on the sea not far out.
Where to next? Small matter of leading a dawn chorus walk tomorrow...at 7am...OK OK we know it's well past dawn but we think we'll get more punters at 7 than 5 and although the dawn chorus is a spectacular cacophonal aural assault on the ears (can you have a spectacle if you're not seeing it?) experience has taught us that it's easier to listen to the individual bird songs when there they're not all singing at the same time..hence the late 'dawn'...see you there?
In the meantime let us know what's been horribly mis-spelt in your outback