Thursday, 13 January 2011

Aythya Antics

Went over to Abbotsbury Swannery for a few hours this afternoon, not ringing but birding! I think this is the first time I have blogged about a birding trip instead of ringing. The aim was to see lots of Scaup which I certainly did. I was joined by fellow ringer Steve, who's been ringing at the Swannery for over 15 years running a CES (details of CES ringing is on the BTO's website Scaup were in good numbers out on the fleet, 23 had been counted yesturday and there were probably the same amount this afternoon. A few nice adult drakes made the views even nicer.
I must point out that the swannery doesn't open to the public until 19th March but the area can be viewed from Abbotsbury beach and the road above the swannery.

As well as Scaup there were loads of Pochard and Tufted Duck all hanging around the area the swans are fed. Thought we'd take advantage of the birds being close and look for nasal saddles. In the past I've seen a few pochard with these tags on but today was the turn of the Tufties. It was only this morning I was talking to Terry Coombs (radipole ringing group) about a Tuftie with JN on its bluish green nasal saddle. So guess who was at the Swannery! It's sometimes is seen at Radipole but not this winter so far. I think its a bird from France but I'll double check that. Sadly photos are going to be lacking a bit from this post. Heavy rain caused me to throw the camera back into the car but I did allow my compact camera to brave the weather.

Once I'd got back from the swannery I headed back to Radipole to pick up something but got distracted by our friendly Tufted Duck. I've even named here.... Its a great name for a Tufted Duck. Cathy. I should probably explain how that name came about. Another member of staff at Radipole was walking along the car park and I called over to him to point out the Tufty. He though I'd said Cathy instead of Tufty and it stuck. Anyway... If you remember back to when she was ringed, she only weighed 500gr. I weighed her again this afternoon to see how she's getting on but she still only weights 550gr. A small increase but she's got a way to go before she back to normal. Lots more food for Cathy!

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