Sunday, 10 November 2013

Long-tailed Duck

After a week of wind and rain the forecast for today looked good so I set off to do some birding around Hayling Island. I wanted to explore a few of the birding locations that I had not visited before, but the real objective of the day was to visit the Oyster Beds to see the Long-tailed Duck. Which was just as well, because I didn't get to see much else.

Or, more accurately, I didn't see much else close up. The weather may have been good but the tides were against me and with high tide at about 1700 the birds were way out on the mudflats for most of the day. Any that did venture close to the shore were soon seen off by the hoards of dog walkers enjoying the late summer sun and by various group of wind surfers.

Female Long-tailed Duck

Well, it may be called a Long-tailed Duck, but you won't see one here. This is a female and it is only the males that carry the long tail. It's also a diving duck and as this one was actively feeding lots of my pictures looked like this.

Probably the sharpest picture I took all day

It's not an easy bird to photograph. There are no crisp lines to focus on and even when you get it right the bird has a general smudgy look with the black, brown, and white colours all fading and blurring together.

Still, a good bird to see and some reasonable record shots for the file.

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