Wood Duck

A proper lifer today, or at least, one can only hope it will prove to be… A message on the grapevine that RF had found a drake Wood Duck at Brow Loch was enough to send me south after work on a speculative outing before catching the late ferry home. That and an email from a friend in Iceland this morning to the effect that a drake Bufflehead had been found in the last few days in Norway… and happy memories of the now-accepted and not so many years past drake Hooded Merganser on Unst.

So, I was only a couple of miles from Brow Loch when a second message came through – to the effect that it should be taken seriously, as the bird was both fully winged, and wary. I met RF heading away from the site, a happy man… and just PVH watching the bird as I pulled up.

A superb looking duck, it was hanging out with the local Tufted Ducks at the far shore, and way too far away to manage a photo. Went for a coffee at PVH’s, then back an hour later. Still nobody else there, but the bird a little closer, and near enough (i.e. within half a mile or so) to allow a record shot at full bore on the lens in the gathering dusk. I decided not to try to closely approach the shore on foot on the basis that I didn’t want to be the selfish chump responsible for flushing the bird and it subsequently becoming difficult to see / gone altogether.

090416-wood-duck1

A terrific bird then, and I guess as good a set of credentials as any Wood Duck in the UK will have, short of a North Carolina ring on its leg… Alternatively, this moment of pure genius from Masked Strike might help to explain things…

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