Sunday, 4 March 2012

Merganser meltdown

The weather was pretty vile today, though not quite as grim as had been predicted. Certainly decent weather for ducks, and with local stuff really quiet and an afternoon low tide, Josh and I headed down to Whetsted GP near Tonbridge to have a look at an exotic visitor.
Hooded Merganser, Whetsted GP, Kent March 2012
Presumably somebody's most loved pet gone awol? Or frozen out from the low countries earlier in the winter? Or, inconceivably, could this further Kent's reputation as the British hotspot for this transatlantic visitor? I doubt the latter, but now the floodgates are well and truly open for this species by the BBRC (following acceptance of the first on North Uist, Outer Hebrides in Oct/Nov 2000). So long as it doesn't linger like the Radipole bird and develop an appetite for bread, then you tick hungry chumps need not worry as you'll be whacking this bag of bullsh*t straight onto your beloved BOU lists. At least there is some back up yankage nearby with those Snow Geese today at Scotney, some of you might say.
You can just make out the white wing bar here - on better photos by others, this is extensive and suggests an adult female 
A bad hair day
The drake Smew on the adjacent pit was typically smart, if not a bit distant in the drizzle. Birding at Crossness was really slow though, with a couple of NTGG ringed gulls the highlight in what seems to be that in between time of year - gulls, wildfowl and waders are emptying out while we're still a way off the summer migrants coming in.

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