March 19, 2006

Four-point plan

We had quite a successful day today.

1. Helped with a Wildlife Watch walk at Ferry Meadows. None of the hoped-for migrants, of course (everything is late this year), but showed the kids (and their parents) some nice birds - two Kingfishers, some displaying Great Crested Grebes, Cormorants, Snipe, Teal, Wigeon, Tufted Ducks and Pochards. Enjoyable.

2. Lunch at The Ship in Oundle (superb and good value), en route to...

3. Twitching at Eyebrook Reservoir. I got back some year ticks on Darren - Smew, Goosander and Grey Wagtail - while he got a lifer - Green-winged Teal.

What was once a Black-throated Diver appeared to have morphed over the weekend into a Great Northern - which we don't need for the year-list but it was good to see all the same.

[Ironically, another Green-winged Teal was found at Woodwalton Fen NNR this afternoon, plus some Garganey]

4. And finally. We paid homage to the Iceland Gull at CEGB Reservoir, Peterborough, which has been roosting there recently.

I would like to say in a very smug way that I was the first person to get onto it, beating four blokes. HA! I'm not the world's biggest gull fan (in fact, I'd go as far as to say I actively avoid them) and usually I'm rubbish at spotting these things.

Luckily, Icy stood out among the throngs of Black-headed Gulls. It wasn't even too hard to age - it's a second-winter starting to get adult pale grey feathers on its mantle.

However, I can confirm you won't be finding me at the tip searching for Caspian Gulls anytime soon. Yuck.

Species added today:
116. Goosander
Smew
Green-winged Teal
117. Grey Wagtail
Iceland Gull

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