Saturday 20 July 2019

Glasgow Blue-winged Teal

Found myself with a colleague heading up to Millport on the little Isle of Cumbrae last week for a Field Studies Council Marine Mammals Training Course. Back in the spring, a smart drake Blue-winged Teal had rocked up in this part of Scotland and found it to it's liking. The duck was still present on the day we headed up north (11th July), so we stopped off for lunch at the delightful little Frankfield Loch nature reserve.
Frankfield Loch

The loch was a cracking little site, with a couple of Common Sandpipers, c50 Lapwings, lots of Teal, a few Tufted Ducks and, in the woodland, Broad-leaved Helleborines. Nice. Sadly, I couldn't find our quarry, so we walked up the nature trail to get a better view of the back of the loch. This paid off, and I picked up the sleeping BWT on a muddy island. My colleague was less than impressed as the bird had gone into eclipse and was snoozing. It was admitedly a bit underwhelming, but after a bit it woke up and started preening - slightly better! Only my fourth in Britain and first since a similarly dowdy drake at Berry Fen, Cambridgeshire in summer 2010. It is about time we had a nice spring drake at Wheldrake Ings, long overdue since the last accepted bird back in 1967.

Blue-winged Teal

Broad-leaved Helleborine

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