Friday, 20 January 2012
Duck in the park
At lunch time I found a little wetland area in the final corner of Morden Park that I had not, until today, really visited properly. It's mainly a small patch of boggy ground with reedmace and a bit of a algae-infested watery area under a patch of trees and bushes. There's one very small open pool about the size of my tiny bedroom. I had a scan around for any snipey birds that could have been lurking around - failed to see any but did find my second Moorhen for the park, following one in the diminutive stream that I found along the southern side a few weeks ago. Just to be sure that there wasn't anything lurking in the boggy area, I took a walk around the edge of the small pool. A splash and a movement in the corner of my eye swivelled me round - expecting it to be the Moorhen having a shuffle, I was amazed when I raised my bins to a drake Teal!
A Mallard would have been a great tick but... wow, that really is reaching lofty waterfowl heights for the sort of water-deprived places at which that I seem to end up spending my time. The bird spotted me and crawled onto the opposite bank, eventually it decided to find somewhere away from me and flew, circling a few times before having little choice other than to land in the boggy undergrowth and wait for me to leave. Which I did.
Morden Park does have potential. A green and thoughtfully managed area surrounded by concrete near the Wandle Valley. There's good habitat but not too much to make it unworkable. It has mixed woodland areas, short and long grassland and patches of scrub. I have yet to really experience a migration period there. I started my courses nearby last September and had the odd potter about then but didn't really know the park and largely stuck to a small part of the park - even so I found a Wheatear on my first visit - since then I've sussed out likely areas for passerine migrants.