Thursday, 12 December 2013

Marshside RSPB, Cheshire - Baikal Teal

So news broke some ten days ago that there was a drake Baikal Teal on Merseyside. After a couple of claims that there was a hybrid seen a few days previously it finally became clear that this bird was not it and was indeed a drake Baikal. One thing and another got in the way of being able to go so today came as the earliest opportunity. The bird had been seen every day except one since its arrival and seemed to be happy enough in with a flock of Wigeon and Teal. So the plan was hatched and I left home at 3.00am and arrived after a short break at 8.30am much to my amusement in the pitch black!

On arrival I was not impressed by the sight of somewhere in the region of 5000 Wigeon and perhaps a couple of thousand Teal milling around on a huge flood meadow. This was not going to be easy but there were quite a few birders looking so I wasn't too worried I wasn't going to be able to find it. After an hour or so of looking with the other 30ish birders attention began to wane and the impossible was happening again!

This is when having a pager completely does your head in. The past week or so this bird seemed easy to connect with and was regularly coming out on the pager. Not once did it drop into any of its messages that it was with so many other birds or that was elusive in between the other sightings! Oh well this some say is the beauty of our hobby and that if you knew you were going to see every bird it wouldn't be as fun. In my view that is B******S!!!! I would much rather be assured that each bird was there and I think I would have a lot more fun too!

Ross's Goose - 1st Winter
Anyway back to sunny old Southport, I did manage to see a Great White Egret and an escaped first-winter Ross's Goose on my walk round and enjoyed the company of DC and PW. I ended up spending the whole day on site as I still felt that the bird was probably on site somewhere but to no avail. A miserable drive home ensued and I was back home for 9.30pm. GRIM

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