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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

London Wetland Centre, 20th December

With nothing particularly to go for, and ice limiting travel anyway, I made a casual trip up to the London Wetland Centre today with my parents, on Sunday.

I was hoping for some winter birds, especially Bittern but got none of my targets!

The most interesting sighting was one that got the adrenaline running for a moment when I thought I was onto a drake Ring-necked Duck! Upon closer inspection, it had a bit of a tuft and the bill pattern was not right. Also the flanks weren't as well defined as would be expected of a pure Ring-necked Duck. It was the returning drake Ring-necked x Tufted Duck. An educational and interesting bird, anyway. This (presumably the same) bird has been seen at the Wetland Centre a winter or two ago as well.

Drake Ring-necked Duck x Tufted Duck hybrid

Common Snipe

I really didn't see much else at all. A flock of 46 Wigeon added a bit of colour and 2 Green Woodpeckers showed well. A Lapwing and a Common Snipe posed for photographs and I came across 2 Lesser Redpolls, failing to locate the Mealies. Both Great Crested and Little Grebes were seen and 1 or 2 Water Rails called over at 'Wildside'.Wigeon

Lapwing

Green Woodpecker

As well as the hybrid aythya and the Wigeon, there was the usual selection of other common wildfowl; Shoveler, Gadwall, Pochard, Tufted Duck and Mallard although don't specifically remember seeing Teal . . .

ShovelerLittle Grebe

Even though it was quiet, and I somehow managed to miss all the winter goodies up there, it was a nice winter's day and an enjoyable walk.