Saturday 19 January 2013


Snow overnight left a world softened and monochrome. Headed down to North Duffield Carrs which I had to myself for a little while. A Barn Owl greeted my arrival and sat Christmas Card like on a snowy post. 52 Whooper Swans fed close in to the flooded Garganey Hide which I attempted to reach by wading through freezing water, without success.

A huge number of wildfowl covered the large area of open water. Soon Chris, Ollie and Andy turned up and together we sifted through the hordes of birds. The Lesser Scaup-like Aythya hybrid was present and exhibited a good LS wing pattern, though the black bill end and Tuftie head and bill shape spoiled a good bird. A Marsh Harrier patrolled up and down the Derwent flushing lots of stuff. Good numbers of Pochard, Pintail and Goldeneye were present, with a muddle of Ruff, Mippits, Fieldfares and Redshank feeding along the muddy river edge. A Chiffchaff called near the hide but we couldn't locate it. Later, C and O rang to say there were 23 Waxwings in the car park, so we nipped out for a look - a good record for NDC. Back in the hide I located a sleeping drake Scaup with the Pochard. The bird looked too big and Scaup like for the smaller hybrid and after a bit of searching we refound the more active hybrid, confirming that I wasn't stringing one bird into two! Another Barn Owl and a Brown Hare were the only other species of note. Aythya hybrid below and the Barny.

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