Popped into SLRS on Saturday, and drew a blank. A nice couple of Blackcaps, and a Sparrowhawk, but nothing to get excited today.
Then a call this morning from Mike, and after sending D#2 to his first cricket practice of the year I dashed off to SLRS and finally got the Garganey. It was difficult to see for a while, then it emerged from behind a clump and waddled round in the open. A beautiful sight, and quite exotic for our little puddle. Like seeing Angelina Jolie in your local.
A male Garganey has been seen at Amwell, and also has been seen at Hollingson Mead (a private gravel pit near Harlow that also holds Wigeon and Gadwall in winter). I assume this is the same bird as ours, and if so then it is following a familiar path. Both last year's Blackwit and this year's Little Gull were also seen at Amwell, so there is some evidence of birds using the Stort/Lea Valley as a single extended wetland, and commuting between sites over an extended period.
When I started this blog I had a small pocket digital camera that took crap pictures down my scope. Now I've got an expensive DSLR and zoom lens, but find it too big to lug around with the scope, and yet not big enough to take decent pictures of birds at SLRS. So I reverted to the small camera down the eye-piece, and here's a pair of Gadwall on the far shore of SLRS.