Rob was just leaving as I arrived but the bird was still there he said. Well you could have fooled me! plenty of European Teal on the pond but no sign of the Yank.
A kingfisher was stuck to the top of a bulrush and the drake pochard was still kicking about, but it was a good ten minutes before I got a brief view of the GW Teal way over the back of the pond, as it disappeared with a small group behind the far right island.
And it was a good half hour later before it paddled out again, still right in the far corner offering only the crappiest of photo opportunities in the fading light.
|This kingfisher was seemingly rooted to the spot, didn't move in ages.|
|Drake Pochard offered the best views in decent light|
|Possibly the worst ever photo of Green-winged Teal, only vaguely |
recognisable thanks to Photoshop brightness and contrast tool.
|No maybe this is the worst ever photo of green-winged Teal|
(rear of island) saved only by the fact the vertical white stripe
(as opposed to horizontal) is clearly visible.
Much better photos are on Gatesheadandbeyond (see link)
Just before I left a single snipe flew in for a good view front of hide, then I spied a water rail feeding out in the open on the pond to the left.
|Not often seen feeding calmly in the open, would have been a cracking|
view of this Water Rail had it not been practically dark!
A good end to the day then, after this morning's unsuccessful trip out with the Birdman to see if we could finally nail the (apparent) flock of Twite at Marley Hill.
The day was calm and bright but only half the flock seen on Sunday (when it was gloomy and windy) was present, and only linnets, some heavily streaked females or 1st winter birds were confusing but on close inspection sadly no Twite. Whether these have been mis-identified or not we don't know but in three visits there's been nothing to report and it would be unusual to get Twite (a mega for Gateshead) so far inland.
An update on garden sightings :
The female Brambling has been seen regularly since last Monday, sometimes visiting three or four times a day, but was last seen on Saturday.
The single Tree Sparrow was seen once during the week but didn't come to the feeder.
Both male and female Greenfinch have been in a couple of times each but not together.
Goldfinch numbers peaked at 28 on Monday.
Collared doves were new for the year, small bands of starling and house sparrow have passed through occasionally but still very few tits, a couple of blueys on occasion and a single coal tit is all.
And 'Gammy' the chaffinch has been a daily visitor and still looks fit apart from his obvious leg problem.
Cheers Birdman, and cheers Rob :)