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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Long Tailed Duck and Things

Their has been a long staying Long Tailed Duck a few miles up the road. Although only about 9 miles as the quacker flies, it's a site I rarely visit. Given it's birder unfriendliness, lack of parking and high level of vehicle crime I can't think why I don't spend more time there.
Anyway, I think initially there was just a female, but the prospect of seeing the male was the tipping point as after all they are pretty rare around Worcs.
So Saturday morning I set up scope on the friendly confines of the Resa, and scanned around. There was decent numbers of Goosander of both sexes. After 5 minutes I picked up on the Male Long Tailed Duck , diving frequently in the NE corner.It was smartly marked. Thanks to someone over that side with a long lens, the bird was gradually being pushed further from the far shore, and eventually they managed to put the bird up which allowed me to see the long median black stripe down it's back as it sought a bit of peace..
So that was it , a lifer.
I decided to swing by the large Waxwing flock at Webbs on the way back. However, when I drove through the entrance and saw how close some of the cameras were set up in relation to the berries I changed my mind. To my mind some folks were just too close, not giving the birds anywhere near enough space.There is an ethical line in the sand and anyone who can't get a decent image from a few yards further back with a big lens and several grands worth of kit should take a leaf  out the book of proper photographers who can, without compromising the wellbeing of the subject.Anyway, I don't know who they were and doubt they read this anyway, but it's something that does cause bad feeling with most birders I know.
Anyway, just round the corner on Swan Lane there were c15 Waxwings flitting around catching insects, who obviously didn't fancy having a lens poked up their jacksie.
On Sunday I did my local patch. Tufted Ducks were back on the Pool, 3 males and a female, the first since May. The was not much else to rave about, but on ending the walk I stopped to observe the small House Sparrow population. It frequents an unremarkable part of the patch, around the gardens of 3-4 houses and adjoining land. I had them at another site on the patch but have not seen them there for a while, I hope they have not gone for good. They sit up in the bare bush and chirp at you as you walk past.
 Once so commonplace when I was a kid, they seem to heading in the same direction as the Tree Sparrow.


  1. I couldn't agree more with you about certain folk within the photographic community being irresponsible. Some people are just so concerned in getting the shot that the birds welfare and the potenitial of spoiling it for other birders/photographers by flushing the bird/not letting it settle doesn't seem to cross their mind. Instead of flying down, taking a berry, and flying off again the birds would happily sit/flit about in the food tree feeding up!

    It really gets my blood up at times. I know some very good Togs who don't take this approach but I just wish others would just be a bit more sympathetic to the birds needs!

  2. I've been contacted by a few other other folks Jase, it was not just Saturday by the sound of things.

  3. Oh dear, you two have made me feel ashamed. My wife and I joined a group of 5 people outside Webbs on Thursday. I thought we were at a discreet distance (too far for my 14x magnification compact), but the birds (four) were feeding, then flying up into a poplar on the other side of the road. I thought this was normal, as I had never seen Waxwing before.I now know better.

  4. Mike.The occurences I am aware of and witnessed were the following 3 days.I don't know what the situation was like that day, but on subsequent days there were a LOT of people there. The folks who should know better are the Togs with big lenses and tripods for whom this is a regualr passtime.Unfortunately there seems to be a lack of self regulation amongst some of them, giving the good guys a bad name too.You mean't no harm, and you are obviously decent enough to see that getting too close is not desirable now, for which I have the utmost respect. I doubt there will be a hint of any contrition for the bazooka boys and girls who were out of order. Best wishes mate.

  5. Mike, you weren't to know and were just going with the I wouldn't be hard on yourself about it.

    As long as you view from a decent distance...say 30-40ft thatts fine. the birds will stay in the tree and feed up as opposed to keep flying off after every berry. When a Tog gets too close they are usually spooked by the electronically generated noise of a shutter (with can be turned off on digital cameras...they have a sensor not a mechanical shutter!)

    I don't quite understand the need for some folks (not all I add) with DSLRs and big lenses to literally be on top of the bird for the shot

    Anyway/ I say Mike you werent to know and Im glad you got to see these stunning birds