American on ice

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Sliding through the slush and sheep poop along the top of the bank at HoM this morning I could see the birders hunched and ‘scoping the distant Wigeon flock past the big tree trunk.
It was bitterly cold with a dusting of snow on the fields, large sections of the lagoons still frozen over and a bitingly cruel wind.
You could see the collective psycho-bubble hovering over birders silently questioning the very notion of global warming as I approached…
Fun to see lots of folk feeling the cold as much as me for views of the drake American Wigeon found by Stuart Darbyshire yesterday (very well done Stuart – but next time you find a rare, could you see your way to doing it in warmer conditions?).
The bird was always distant and I just couldn’t get a decent photo of it, whether digiscoping or giving it full blattage with the P900, although in conditions this grim it wasn’t surprising.
Reasonable ‘scope views as it tootled about, yet it was quite hard to keep tabs on as it bustled about amongst the Eurasian Wigeon, often disappearing in the flock.
It hauled out of the icy water for a preen once in a while (it’s the left hand blur on the bank in this shot).

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After admiring the Yankee for an hour or so (it has been a few years since I’ve seen one I think), and having lost all feeling in my extremities, I wandered on down the bank, but the place was quiet – about 30 Whoopers in the fields at the bottom end, flocks of Linnet, Reed Bunting and Skylark, and a party of Golden Plover over.
Best of all were two Ravens drifting over heading south west-ish.
I called in at Marshside on the way home, finally managing to catch up with the young Scaup with the Tufties off Hesketh Road, but it was fast asleep on the water (left hand blobby blur in the group below).

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2 thoughts on “American on ice

  1. A good selection of birds coming to garden feeders today (Monday 18th) at the Kirkstall Rd Wildlife refuge. 3 Blackcap which,as well as fat balls were scoffing sunflower hearts, 3 Reed Bunts, a Goldcrest and the first Siskin of the year. Was ram-raided by 12 Jackdaws, my, can they eat !

    Liked by 1 person

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