Good Ducks and Swans

Monday 3rd January 2011

The morning out with Andy produced some very good birds, starting with an adult Whooper Swan with a group of seven Bewick's Swans and eight Mute Swans in a field at Longney, SO757140. I overlooked the Whooper as a Bewick's in the field as it was hidden behind a Mute feeding when I scanned with the bins and only showing some of the yellow bill. I took some photos though and when i studied them, one photo only showed the Whooper in full view! (below: all three swan species, Whooper Swan left of centre).

At Sharpness, a redhead Smew was on the pool by the SARA lifeboat station (below).

We finished at Slimbridge, checking out the Rushy Pen for the Lesser Scaup. After checking through just about every Aythya, which included the two first-winter male Greater Scaups, we heard that the Lesser Scaup had been located on the Big Pen. Within two minutes we were on the Lesser Scaup, a first-winter female. Most of the time it was asleep, as in the photo below, and only briefly showed its face for a few seconds at a time - see the top photo. The light was terrible and it was snowing by then, so not brilliant photos but a nice rarity.

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