Scaups and stuff.


The two drake Scaup were sailing about, diving and preening on the Junction Pool at Marshside again this morning, with the Tufted Duck flock, while a chilly wind tried to stamp out any of that spring nonsense.
That said, a few Pied Wags were moving through, one or two Mipits called overhead, and a Chiffchaff moved quietly along the bank north of Nels in the afternoon.
38+ Avocets looked as miserable as only Avocets can when it gets cold in March and hunkered down on Marshside One.


Little Grebes were yikkering away from the reeds by Nels, and for the botanists, Green Alkanet was blooming, joining Common Whitlow Grass (a favourite of Neill Hunt’s of course, hence the picture), Coltsfoot and various nasty Hawksbits in flower.


Plenty of Golden Plover (1,000+ on Crossens Inner), Blackwits, a few Ruff and Curlew, but only a Merlin was prepared to put the effort in on the outer marsh in the strong wind.
I headed up to have a gander at Crossens Outer, where about 1,500 Pinkies had been pushed onto the cropped grass.
Although fairly distant I ‘scoped them (shamefully the first time I’ve spent any amount of time on the geese this winter), picking out six Barnacles.
As I did, a Lanner-type falcon came whizzing by, and crash landed on the turf then tried to regain its dignity on one of the tide stranded tree trunks.


Infinitely cooler, a Raven dropped in, chased off the Lanner a short distance, then had a go at the carcass out there, before bouncing around amongst the geese for a few minutes – top bird!
A quick look at Weld Road on the way home revealed 13 flighty Twiteys and a Pied Wag.
Meanwhile the Siskin infestation continues at Dempsey Towers, although numbers seemed to have fallen back a bit today, which means my sunflower seeds may last a bit longer.


3 thoughts on “Scaups and stuff.

    • “Arctic Peregrine” didn’t flash up on my radar Dave – come to think of it, it was bluey grey rather than brownish on the back, but we often get odd hybrids/escapes turning up on the marsh.
      The bird didn’t strike me as being particularly large though and it’s behaviour – frequently landing on the grass amongst geese, short distance flights etc – was more like a falconer’s bird than our usual wild Peregrines.
      My meagre knowledge of “calidus” is based largely on Martin Garner’s excellent chapter in the Winter Challenge book.
      I’ll see if I can clean any of the other long range digi-shots up and put them up later.
      Many thanks.


  1. Must admit Martin’s superb challenge series has definitely prompted me to look at all of my Peregrines twice…..along with everything else!!
    Always enjoy reading your blog. All the best. Dave

    Liked by 1 person

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