Female Hooded Merganser.
I headed of to Whetsted gravel pits to have a look at the female Hooded Merganser that has recently been seen from there , i arrived on site and soon picked out the Merganser on the other side of the pit , i made my way around to try and get better views but although i got closer the bird kept a safe distance from me , a really attractive bird with its typical Merganser hair style , yellow bill was seen as was small white patch on the flanks .
Wind swept head plums .
Well i guess the debate will go on about if it is a genuine vagrant or if its " plastic " , well in its favour is the wings did not appear to show any abrasion , it was certainly acting wild in as such feeding well and always keeping a reasonable distance , add that to the fact that there are several American vagrants dotted around the country , ie : Common Yellowthroat , Northern Waterthrush , Wilsons Snipe and several Lesser Scaup and American Wigeon.
However can anyone be completely sure these birds have not escaped from someones collection or are a product of a feral population ???? wildfowl in particular are always suspect , I am not qualified to make such a decision on this bird and will leave it up to the BBRC to sort this one out .
Another record shot.
I also had distant views of a drake Smew on the other pit where there was also a Chiffchaff moving through the small reed bed , there were Several Yellowhammers and Reed Buntings around plus i heard and saw Great Spotted Woodpecker and Green Woodpecker .