Friday, 2 December 2016

A Long-tailed Duck at Fingringhoe Wick

18th November 2016

A 2.30pm high tide in the River Colne so time for another visit to Fingringhoe Wick to see what the tide brings in. I first popped down to the scrape to see whether all the Greenshank and Spotted Redshank had departed, and in fact the only kids on the block was this rather small gathering of Redshank, all up to their waist on the submerged island.

Just as I was walking down to The Retreat ** hide, a light aircraft flew over and put everything up and the sun went in, but apart from that everything was fine.

** I was hoping that EWT would come up with a more inspiring name than "the new inter-tidal area" and had even suggested that they run a competition to find a new name, but that hasn't happened. So therefore, for the purpose of my blogs, I have decided to rename it The Retreat.

It took a while for the birds to return on the incoming tide, but after a while small flocks of Ringed and Grey Plovers, Knot and Dunlin were cramming on to the ever-disappearing islands.

And as before one or two Grey Plovers came close for some photos in the ever-increasing gloom.

Back at Robbie's Hide there was still a bit of high tide traffic like this Curlew heading off for the high tide roost at Geedons Marsh, and the exceptionally high tide had totally covered the saltmarsh to the north of the hide providing some great dabbling habitat for Teal and Wigeon.

But the star of the show today was the female Long-tailed Duck which came into The Retreat at high tide. Unfortunately it hugged the bank furthest away from the hide but did occasionally swim down towards the Kingfisher Hide. From this hide the trick was to photograph it before it got too close and disappeared below the bank. What a cracking little bird.

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