Friday, 18 April 2014

Baikal Teal finally found

A couple of weeks ago I made a trip to Fen Drayton hoping to get a view of the Baikal Teal and with it bag an insurance tick just in case.
The only problem being the bird chose the previous evening to do a bunk. Having spent 4-5 hours searching for the bird, it was re-found a relatively short distance away. The only problem being that by the time it was found again I was almost back home some 60 odd miles away!

Before heading towards Cambridgeshire this morning, Brian having received a tip off about Lesser Spotted Woodpecker activity at a site in Hertfordshire was keen to follow this up. In fact we were all very keen to check it out having missed this species completely last year.
After parking up and taking a short walk a LSW was heard drumming, a small movement within the foliage and a male LSW was found. A cracking bird that gave us our best views yet of this species

Lesser-spotted Woodpecker

Leaving Hertfordshire we continued onto Pymoor in Cambridgeshire in search of the Baikal Teal.
On arrival we parked up close to Four Balls Farm and climbed the grass bank where a small group of birders were already present.
Between climbing the bank and reaching the top the bird had disappeared back into the cover of the reeds!
The flood was distant and the wind was blowing hard into our faces, making viewing difficult, but after several minutes the target bird finally swam out from the reeds and everyone managed to get reasonable scope views. 

From here we made the twenty mile trip across to Lynford. 
On arrival the double wooden gates to the house were open and the owners were kindly letting birders inside to view the small drinking pools.
We watched as several Common Crossbill dropped down to drink. Having wandered away to check out the trees just outside I managed to miss a probable male Two-barred that flew into the trees near the drinking pools.
Leaving the pools we headed off down the path and after crossing the bridge heard and then found a single Hawfinch perched up in the top of a nearby tree.
While watching this a Lesser-spot was heard drumming. Following the drumming along a riverside path we managed to get brief flight views of our second LSW of the day.
At a nearby drinking pool a Grey Wagtail dropped in to drink and Brian found a Goldcrest busy nest building.
On the walk back towards the car park, another group of Crossbills were found and amongst this group was a stunning male Two-Barred.
At first it stayed hidden among thick scrub but soon separated from the main group and flew to the top of a nearby tree, giving cracking scope views.

Two-barred Crossbill (B Anderson)

A great days birding, 4 year ticks and a possible armchair life tick if the Teal is ever accepted onto the list.

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