In happier days the late, great Eric Hardy would refer to Martin Mere in print and on the wireless (anyone remember the “wireless”?), using not-so-shorthand as “Janet Kear’s duck brothel”.
Hardy would have had a wry smile on his face today then as a Whistling Duck (probably Fulvous, but not quite right with those oh-so-pale undercrackers), rocked up at Nels at Marshside to join the ranks of ignominy alongside the Cruddy Shelduck, Golden Pheasant and the Little White Goose (among others).
M’learned friends inform me there were three at Frodsham recently, so someone’s obviously left a gate open somewhere…
I didn’t see the whistler fly for most of the two hours I was at Nels in the scorchio today, but judging by those ridiculous blue splitty-splatties it could easily have walked in – thanks to Bazzo for the tip-off, if that’s the right term in relation to such a surreal arrival at the marsh.
To be fair, the bird did fly a short distance later on, and looked quite bewildered by the experience, otherwise it slept a lot, then went feeding in the shallows like a deranged submarine Shoveler, it’s neck underwater diver-stylee as it thrashed about in the gloop with its bill.
Mad as a lorry.
Far more sensible observations today included two winter plumage Knot amongst the Black Tailed Godwits from Nels, eight Dunlin and a Golden Plover.
Sprawk and Common Buzzards sparked a few dreads and a surprise Painted Lady butterfly tottered south past the hide as I digested my latest helping of plastic.