Tuesday, 30 October 2012

More of the Lesser

I decided to drop by Rostellan Lake early this morning to see if the Lesser Scaup containing Tufted Duck flock had come in any closer to the carpark. There was no sign as I glanced at the lake from the road but when I pulled up to the carpark guess what.........they were right in! Typically though the light was coming from the wrong direction. Either there was a glare from the water or the birds were all shadowy. However with a little bit of patience and liberal use of the exposure compensation function I managed some reasonable shots.


1st winter Lesser Scaup - Rostellan Lake, Cork, 30th October 2012
Satisfied with my efforts I moved on. I'd had enough of bush-whacking for a while so rather than hitting a headland I opted from Ballynamona. Might be worth a check for Jack Snipe or possibly some pipits on the strand. I spent about two hours tramping around in the vain hope of flushing a Jack Snipe, plenty of Common Snipe alright but no sign of their smaller more elusive cousin. No sign either of the Spotted Redshank reported from the weekend. Plenty of Lapwing, a small flock of Golden Plover, five or six Grey Plover, a big flock of Wigeon and about twenty Light-bellied Brent Geese were the best to be had. Two rather large and rotund looking Wheatears on the beach were possibly of the Greenland race (leuccorrhoa). May try to get some snaps of these chaps before they move on.
Footnote: lots of debate since about whether this bird is either a hybrid or even a first winter female Tufted Duck. 
Birdforum thread
For the moment I am unticking it, it has since departed the area though the Tuftie flock remains. For me, it always looked just 'different' from the rest of the female Tufties present, I am still holding onto a little bit of hope that it may be a Lesser Scaup and maybe it'll return a little later in the winter when its moult has progressed a bit.......maybe! In the meantime I'm back to needing Lesser Scaup.

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