Thursday, 4 August 2011

A Slice of Fudge

Last week I nipped over to Paxton Pits in nearby Cambridgeshire. A drake Ferruginous (Fudge) Duck had been hanging around. I haven't sen too many of these before so I thought it was worth a look.
 From where you park the car to where the bird was being seen is quite a walk but it is through some bird rich countryside, with Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings, Blackcaps, Whitethroats, Sedge and Reed Warblers all seen.
 Arriving at Pumphouse Pit I had a good look around trying to decide where my target bird might be lurking.In the process notching up Little Grebe, Little Egret and a couple of Yellow-legged Gulls onto the day tally.
 I found a small flock of Tufted Ducks with a few Pochard amongst them and sort of guessed this might be the most likely area to find the Fudgie.
 After about an hour of 'Was that it that just dived ?', I finally managed a long enough look to identify the chestnut brown duck with the white eye as a drake Ferruginous Duck. Hard work but worth it in the end.
 A bonus while waiting was the constant 'purring' of 2 Turtle Doves on wires just a short distance away and a Hobby that flew by on the walk back.

 While in the area, I decided to take a look at nearby Grafham Water.
A walk along the dam produced a few birds. Lots of Wagtails, mainly Pied, but a reasonable number of Yellow, a few juvenile Gulls, Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed  and Black-headed, a lot of eclipse Mallard drakes and a family of Shelduck.

juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull feeding on a dead Carp

juvenile Shelduck
 One bird on the dam was quite a surprise - a Juvenile Kittiwake - unfortunately deceased.

juvenile Kittiwake
 From here I took a walk around the Lagoons and was very pleased to see the pair of Avocet and their two youngsters that they had reared on site, also a Green Sandpiper and 3 Little Egrets prowled around on the mud.

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