Sunday, 5 March 2017

Morning Sun

Headed out early in bright sunshine to do the usual clockwise loop of the LDV. Stacks of birds on the Low Grounds, including 30+ Dunlin, but glare from said sun made viewing to the east tricky. Headed on to East Cottingwith, noting three Little Egrets along the Pocklington Canal just south of Hagg Bridge.

The drake Scaup was napping on the refuge, looking dapper in the warm light. 23 Black-tailed Godwits were huddled out of the wind on the back edge of the flood, mixed in with Pintail and a few Teal. One of the birds was already sporting some brick-red garb, whereas the majority were still in their sombre winter grey.

Sleepy Scaup with Gadwall and Tufted Duck.

Ellerton was quiet, so I headed down to Aughton. Aughton Church really is a delightful place to bird from, and I was serenaded by the church choir accompanied by a bugling herd of 19 Whooper Swans just beyond the church wall. The swans eyed me with suspicion at first, but soon settled down to a bit of feeding and displaying. It was interesting how amber-stained some of the adult's necks were and yet some were persil-white. Perhaps the former nested on more peaty pools up in Iceland which had tainted their feathers. Only one second calendar year bird with this gang, suggesting the other pairs had booted out their young already or had had a poor season last year.

145 Pochard were out on the deeper water, with half the number of Tufted Ducks and a solitary Little Grebe. Four Oystercatchers round at North Duffield Carrs were the only other birds of note, before the rain came and I headed home.

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