Sunday, December 23, 2012

West York's Goodies......

Drake American and Eurasian Wigeon,Anglers C.P.

Drake American Wigeon,Anglers C.P.

Drake American Wigeon,Anglers C.P.

Drake Goldeneye,Wintersett Reservoir.

Eurasian Teal,Anglers C.P.

Magpie,Anglers C.P.

Grey Squirrel,Anglers/Wintersett feeding station.
With regular reports of a Drake American Wigeon being seen at Angler's Country Park in West York's,Chris and myself made the journey over to this excellent inland area to see if we could connect with this dapper duck.The first site we visited was Wintersett Reservoir and after parking in the joint car park for Wintersett/Angler's C.P. we walked the muddy pathway alongside the reservoir bank to find a viewpoint.Here,the highlights on a very windy reservoir included a distant 1st winter male Scaup watched on the other side of the Res,at least 15 Goosander,Kingfisher and at least 15 Goldeneye.On nearby fields,the 3 Egyptian Geese from the previous days report,were seen loosely associating with a flock of Canada Geese and back in the car park area a single Brambling and Willow Tit were heard and seen.....After searching around Wintersett and after talking to some locals,we heard the American Wigeon was showing nearby from the main hide at Angler's,so we walked the short journey around to it.On arrival at the hide and after an initial search we couldn't see the Yankee Wigeon,but enjoyed some cracking views of the assembled Wildfowl which included 36 Goosander,stunning birds,long and sleek and made for underwater swimming,the most Chris and myself had seen at any site before.Then,at last,another birder who was sharing the hide,saw the American Wigeon and we got onto it,loafing on a vegetated bank with some Eurasian Wigeon,Goosander and Teal.At first he was hard to see but for some unseen reason the ducks were spooked and to our delight the American Wigeon came closer and closer until it settled firstly on some artificial islands and then a grassy island right infront of the hide.He gave stunning views through the scope and Chris and myself managed to get some decent images of this cracking duck.A few noticeable features when seen side by side with a male Eurasian Wigeon,but not usually mentioned included the birds richer pink front to its breast and longer tail,the green eyestripe stood out really well in the strong sunshine,coupled with the creamy crown and peppered face pattern,making for a very attractive duck.He was seen interacting with his Eurasian cousins and some displaying and aggression was observed also.This was Chris and myselfs fourth American Wigeon(All Drakes) and my first since one at Cley in Norfolk in January 2010.After we had enjoyed our fill of this cracker we managed to also connect with the female Long-tailed Duck and she gave some nice views through the scope as well,my first of the year!.With only a couple of hours of sunlight remaining we travelled over to Old Moor RSPB,but sadly the Waxwings had departed,thankfully we had encountered a flock of 30 birds in Havercroft on our journey earlier in the day.No real highlights were seen at Old Moor apart from superb close views of a hunting male Sparrowhawk and 2 Brambling.Another great day out was enjoyed today to a new area for us both in some great weather,apart from the gusty wind.

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