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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Inland Sea Ducks

It was my first full days birding of the year today and along with Mark headed down to Clumber Park as the Hawfinch's have been reported regularly so far this year, the early start paid off as we soon found three birds sat preening on top of one of the tall trees, they were in view for five to ten mins then flew off and hadn't returned by the time we left, all the other usual woodland species were present including a couple of Buzzards that showed well along the approach road. Next up was Steetley Gravel Pits near Worksop where a female type Velvet Scoter was on one of the pools, it was a bit misty by this time and we had to view it through a high security fence but a good inland sighting nevertheless, we also had a couple of sizeable skeins of Pinkfeet fly over, we then headed back to Pugneys CP which was packed out with people and fairly birdless but there was a good selection of stuff over the road on the Calder Wetlands including several Goosanders and the 1st winter drake Long Tailed Duck from last year now starting to attain adult plumage, no Smew though. We then went off to Anglers CP, unfortunately last years American Wigeon has gone missing recently but a couple of drake Scaup offered some recompense, there was also another Long Tailed Duck here, this one a female, with the afternoon getting on we decided to try last years site for the roosting Long Eared Owls but we couldn’t find any today, we ended up at Astley Lake, Swillington Ings where a few pre roost large Gulls were dropping in but we couldn't find anything out of the ordinary with them, a Barn Owl was hunting the reedbed. Not a good day for photography everything remained distant today.
early morning Hawfinch

Velvet Scoter through the murk

Pugneys Long tailed Duck, got some pink on the bill now and back plumage looking better

female at Anglers

Goosanders flying off

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