Sunday, September 06, 2009

a line crossed?

Sunday morning started grey, with rain predicted in the afternoon. I didn't care as I still had 4,000 words to do on my dissertation. Around noon with less than 1,000 to go I checked my email, there was a report of a very unusual duck at Pitsford spotted by Neil McMahon early on Sunday morning. I had to finish my dissertation first then have lunch, but we decided to pop-along in the afternoon and see if the bird was still present. It was! The Ferruginous Duck was sleeping and for the fifteen to twenty minutes we watched it, it carried on sleeping, so at this distance all I managed was a record shot, though you can tell it is a drake Ferruginous Duck due to the plumage colour and on the head, back in contrast to the head and the (white) rump:

As we were out and about with all our kit, we decided to head for home via Hollowell as another unusual wader had been spotted there yesterday, a pair of Curlew Sandpipers, thus far a bird we've only seen from a distance in Spain earlier this year. We were delighted to find them still present, in this picture the bird on the right is a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper and the bird on the left a juvenile Ringed Plover:

A better shot of the Curlew Sandpiper:

And finally the pair together:

Also present a lone Greenshank as per yesterday and probably one of the pair we saw here two weekends back. So, two new birds on the UK list this weekend and one 'lifer' and all on a pleasant (no rain either) Sunday afternoon! It does mean however that we have gone out specifically to see a new bird in our locale twice now, once a couple of weeks ago to positively identify the Pectoral Sandpiper and now today for the Ferruginous Duck. That counts as twitching by my book, hence the line crossed, though a long, long distance from the true meaning of the term, at least that's what I'm telling myself anyway :)

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