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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sleepy Ring Necked and dodgy Scaups

I went off to Tophill Low this morning primarily for a Ring Necked Duck that has been there all week, the bird was still present but right down at the far end of D Reservoir and asleep most of the time, it was best viewed from the middle hide as the light was all wrong from the hide it was nearest to and it looked quite dingy from that distance, not the usual nice clean grey on the flanks I am used to seeing, it got disturbed a couple of times so I had some brief views of its bill pattern, there was also a drake Scaup down at that end as well as two hybrid types out in the middle, one of these is probably the bird that was in the Lower Derwent Valley a couple of weeks back but typically the dodgy birds were nice and close while the good birds were miles away, also of note on the reservoir were lots of amorous Goldeneye and a Little Gull that dropped in for a quick bathe. A quick look at the new wetland area which was frozen found a Buzzard perched on an Owl box and there were a couple of Woodcock showing at the Visitor Centre feeding station plus a Barn Owl was hunting in the afternoon sunshine along the approach road as I left. I called off at North Duffield Carrs on the way back, very flooded again at the moment so everything was well spread out, a load of Whooper Swans out towards Ellerton and a drake Scaup asleep at the far side of the floods were about the best of it.

difficult to see until the Pheasant flushed it into the open

skulking back into cover

a very flooded North Duffield Carrs

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