This small North American duck has been frequenting Freiston Shore RSPB in South Lincolnshire since Tuesday, disappearing for a couple of days and then reappearing in a drainage ditch on Friday. A discussion ensued with my friend Chris Orders and we initially pencilled in Sunday as a day to pay a visit, the forecast putting us off a bit. Sunday morning dawned and with it at least 6-7 inches of snow, a quick text confirmed a cancellation of our trip. An hour and a half later the bird was reported on Birdguides and so another discussion ensued, was the weather that bad, the roads could be clear, if it was that bad we could always turn round. We decided to go for it. Mad!
The journey was pretty non-eventful, the roads and the snow vanishing before our eyes, we only saw 3 cars in various ditches along the way! We arrived on site with a gale blowing straight from the continent, it was a bit chilly, to say the least, but we made our way to the hide where the bird had been spotted from. On scanning a flock of Tufted Ducks at the furthest point possible from the hide I picked out the bird with its' head tucked firmly under its' wing, we had 'bagged' it! We walked a bit closer to the bird in order to see if we could get any photos, the weather being rather bracing, which didn't help with that particular process, but we managed to get a few shots.
As can be seen, not the greatest pieces of photography that you will ever see, but you can see the bird! Chris managed to get far better digiscoped shots, one of which is below.
|copyright Chris Orders|
A good bird, despite the 'challenging' weather conditions! Thanks to Chris for driving and Anne for the coffee!