Saturday, 13 April 2013

Green-Winged Teal Crossness

I took a trip down to Crossness yesterday for the Green-winged Teal that had been found by Rich Bonser and found a Willow Warbler on the way (195) Arriving at the Thamesmead Golf Centre I parked up and walked to the outfall area and scanned for the bird which gave a brief show before being moved on as a military helicopter flew up the Thames. I got a good soaking but worth it for tick 196. A weasel showed well too but with the rain I had left the camera in the car. Along the foreshore were Black-tailed Godwits and reports have these highlighted as Icelandic birds. Redshank and Dunlin also moved along the mud as the tide came in.

Green-winged Teal
This morning the Jim's wanted to get the bird at Crossness too so I ran them down there and quickly found the bird on the foreshore and even managed to grab a distant shot of it. The male seemed attached to a particular female Teal and I left wondering if this could be a GWT too but I know it's very difficult to ID females, certainly difficult for me having never seen a female GWT before.
Also at Crossness was a nice singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff and on the foreshore was a single Bar Tailed Godwit.

With the Jim's satisfied with the tick we made off for the original plan which was to head up to Bedfordshire in search of migrants. We arrived at Blow's Downs at 9.15am and quickly found three smart Redstarts in the paddocks (197) Two Wheatear were found and a nice pair of Bullfinch. We walked a couple of miles up and down the Downs in search of Ring Ouzel without any joy. With the calf muscles telling me to take a break I sat on the top of the world and watched Yellowhammers, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits.
With the Lungs now filled with oxygen again we made the long walk back down the Downs.

A quick look for Ouzel at Wing failed to deliver the Jims a tick so we moved on to Startops End Reservoir where we found a nice pair of Red Crested Pochard along with lot's of Swallows (198) House Martins (199) and Common Terns (200)

Male Red Crested Pochard
Female Red Crested Pochard

So pleased to have bagged tick 200 by mid April and it's great to finally see the spring migrants arriving in some numbers. On the way home we made a stop at Bison Hill but the combination of the hill, the wind and the rain had us running back to the car without finding any Ouzels but we made the journey home satisfied with a good days birding.

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