Thursday, February 07, 2013

MSQ And Ashbyville......


2nd calendar year Long-tailed Duck.

2nd calendar year Long-tailed Duck.

Drake Gadwall.

Bathing Greylag.


Juvenile Great-northern Diver.
With the prospect of some decent weather today,i decided to visit Messingham first and then take the short trip over to Ashbyville later.After arriving at the car park at MSQ and before i left the car,superb views were had of 2 Willow Tit and a female Great-spotted Woodpecker feeding at the entrance to the reserve,a nice start.I had a quick look on the horse paddocks along the entrance track to the reserve and enjoyed some nice views of at least 65 Redwing feeding there.I then carried on around the reserve,seeing 3 Goosander fishing on the woodland lake,giving distant views and i then continued,making my way through this cracking reserve until i reached the duck hide.As i scanned the lake,imagine my surprise when a drake Long-tailed Duck swam across my field of view.This has to be the same bird which arrived in the area in the latter part of last year,what a great bird to see on an inland site.As i watched the bird it was apparent that it was an immature drake(2nd calendar year),with it developing grey scapular feathers and a pink bill and it gave decent views before,for some reason it flew off along with a drake Tufted Duck and i didn't see it afterwards.There were still 2 female Scaup present also today and another Goosander,a male was briefly here before flying off.It has been a proper purple patch for ducks in recent months here with 4 Scaup,male Common Scoter,Redhead Smew and the LTD,pretty impressive for an inland site.After viewing from the duck hide i walked around to the wader hide,en-route enjoying some nice views of a flock of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll feeding on the ground under the waterside Alders.One bird showed characters of a male Mealie Redpoll and i manged to get a record shot of this bird.The remainder of the reserve revealed little else apart from a couple of Jays scolding me as i walked past on my return journey to the car.After enjoying my visit to this cracking reserve i travelled over to Ashbyville.After getting the gear together for the second time today,i then walked down to the lake to see if the 'Big bird' was still present and after a quick scan there it was and thankfully still fit and healthy.This Great-northern left for a short while while the lake froze solid a week or so ago,but has returned and today it gave superb views again,but is a lot more wary of humans now,which isn't a bad thing going by some of the morons who visit this lake.The only other birds of note here were a couple of Lesser Redpoll.A cracking day out today.

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