• Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

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Bosherston – follow-up to the odd duck

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Thanks to Gary and Sarah for their report of their birding and, in particular, their notice of the unusual duck at Bosherston. So as not to leave such an intriguing sighting hanging in the blog – some further detail here as a follow up. I missed the Lesser Scaup earlier this month, so it was worthwhile going down to the lakes yesterday to have a look at this new bird. It was not hard to find, showing well on its own in the eastern arm. I also found it to be very distinct from the other Tufties present – black on the nail only, somewhat slighter in appearance and no tuft. The slight appearance was probably enhanced also by its frequent habit of stretching its neck. It was keeping itself to itself and, on one occasion, was being bullied by a young Moorhen. My initial thought was yes, this could well be a Lesser Scaup. I took a few photos for later confirmation – crops below. Looking in detail at the photos last night I’m less sure of the ID, which may have been coloured at the time by looking through the ‘rose tinted binoculars of expectation’, and leaning towards an unusual Tuftie. For example, the small white patch around the base of the bill and a lack of grey in the feathers suggests a juvenile bird (if L Scaup) – in which case is the yellow eye problematic at this stage? More experienced people to me may be able to make the call from the photos below.  Otherwise the jury is out until someone manages to get a good look at the wing detail. Whatever the outcome, it was an interesting bird and worth going to have a look at – thanks for the tip off.