Monday 27 November 2023

This weekend

From Gary and Sarah Manning: Just spent a good few days in Pembrokeshire, with a bit of birding thrown in. Highlights are as follows:

Saturday 25th November- Marloes Mere to deer Park. Nothing massively unusual.  A peregrine at sea from Deer Park.  Various chough sightings including 4 at the deer park, but a flock of 15 in the field behind the new bank at Marloes was good. 32 grey seal on the beaches at deer park included 2 late pups that were still pretty small.

Sunday 26th November 
Broad Haven caravan park - a mixed flock included female blackcap, chiffchaff, several goldcrest and a firecrest.
Little Haven 2 divers off the point just a bit distant to be certain on id,  but I'm erring towards black throated. A school of at least 8 and possibly more dolphins ( probably bottlenose)  put up a small raft of 8 common scoter- no wing bars noted. 6 or so gannets also present

Monday 27th November
Bosherston lily ponds. Female blackcap, chiffchaff,  2 chough feeding on the grass area where the old house was- not seen them there before.

Odd duck. Seen returning to Bosherston car park on first arm -initial impression was a possibly gc grebe- clearly long necked . A binoculars view suggested a slim necked bird with some white around the base of the bill, but not much. Head was rounded in profile- not obviously crested. Possible light band around base of the neck with almost chestnut colouration of the breast feathers. Back was darker brown with lighter flanks. At no stage did it dive, flap its wings or interact with anything else. It was not with the tufties. It was observed in decent light through Swarovski 10x42 bins for 5-10 minutes

I've spent a lot of time this week looking at tufted ducks trying to pick out ring neck ducks at home here in Somerset and it just didn't quite fit. I didn't have means to photograph it, but my gut feeling is it that it isn't a tufted and may be a scaup species. Although I have seen both greater and lesser Scaup in the UK I have not seen a Female / juvenile in this plumage.

Apologies if it turns put to be an odd tufty, but I should let you know and hopefully someone else can connect with it, and do a better job of identifying it than me.