I’ve been about as dynamic as a hibernating hedgehog for the past few days. The chance of anything vaguely creative, even accidentally finding its way here, is pretty slim. Still, with a self-imposed goal of hitting the publish button at least once a week(ish), I’ve climbed out from under the duvet, left Don in yet another whiskey-induced spiral of self-destruction (Mad Men, season 6) and gone to see a bird.
At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that this is just a Tufted Duck, without a tuft, and with the addition of a couple of flashy bands around its bill. It isn’t, honest. It’s a very smart American, male, Ring-necked Duck. It turned up at Wilstone reservoir on Friday evening, disappeared Saturday, and reappeared today at Startops, long enough for the young, the old and the middle-aged and infirm (i.e. me) to drag themselves out into the blissful warmth and sunshine, and be dazzled by rarity. The last (and first) one I saw at the reservoirs was a dull juvenile at Wilstone in 2013. Prior to that there had been less than 15 county records.
|View across Startop's End Reservoir, from SW shoreline + digiscoped inserts. Distance to bird approx 200 metres|