Monday, 17 December 2012
Lesser Dip (16th December)
I decided to make up for not being able to twitch the Lesser Scaup the previous day so I took the train up north to what I expected to be a guaranteed tick. I arrived at a rather desolate lake with only a few Tufted Ducks sat on the water at the far northern end but nothing else of note was immediately obvious. Seeing someone on the northern bank watching what still looked like Tufties, I decided to head over to check if he was infact on the bird. From the northern bank, I soon releasing a Great Northern Diver break the surface of the water, it was a real show off, approaching the bank very closely and giving the best views yet that I have had of this species. 2 Fieldfare in the nearby fields were also rather embarrassingly my first for the winter and a female Goldeneye was also kindly pointed out to me but rather frustratingly there was no sign of the Lesser Scaup! Given that it had remained for several days, if not weeks and was seen only that morning, I was rather surprised that it had so far not been refound. Infact, I began speculating whether the disturbance caused by the sailing and water skiing may have spooked the bird to fly of to one of the nearby reservoirs but it was already too late to take the bike there and check them, as darkness and rain were both already falling fast. A female RING-NECKED DUCK was partial compensation as was the very atmospheric surrounding and isolation of the place made even more special by the sight of 200+ Golden Plover circling endlessly over the lake refusing to land. Rather disappointed to say the least I headed back only to be greeted with the news at 11pm that night of the Lesser Scaup having been relocated to Dozmary Pool.