|Best of a bad batch of photos of the Red-crested Pochard,|
which was skulky and hard to view
The lake was misty, and 7 Cormorants up in the surrounding trees immediately caught my eye - a large count for my patch. Through the mist, which was heavy, I could see a large, brown-ish duck towards the south side. I got my bins on it, and couldn't believe I was looking at a female Red-crested Pochard! She was acting much like the numerous wild ones I saw in southern Spain in April did, skulking in and out of the waterside vegetation at the south end. This behaviour, coupled with being beyond the middle islands, made it hard to get prolonged views of her, and I managed just a couple of awful pictures through the mist.
|The last Red-crested record - my first-ever bird log book,|
documenting the drake at Winkworth in 1999!
Matt Phelps had been doing his WeBS count at Winkworth this morning, managing the first Water Rail of this winter back in Phillimore, and he stopped by Bramley Park Lake at about 08:50 but couldn't find the Red-crested Pochard. After work I had another lookm but also failed to find her. A number of fishermen were present though, and she may well have been flushed. At this time of year, clearly these secluded and seldom checked water bodies are worth a look. I still hope for my Goosander, but today's bird was enough of a treat.