Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Wednesday 7th. January 2015

Having dropped Carol off at a friend's and with the weather decidedly on the turn , I stopped off for a look around Kelsey Park in Beckenham , in the hope of finding the Firecrest that was seen there last Monday . Having driven through rain to get there , the wet stuff caught up with me just as I got out of the car . I could almost see the bridge where the bird was sighted , but when I got there , the only
sighting was a very brazen Brown Rat feeding on some crumbs on the bridge , which only moved on when I got within touching distance . On either side of the bridge , a minimum of 19 Mandarin Duck were counted on The Beck along with a similar number of Mallard types . After about 15 minutes in the area , a lady stopped and surprisingly asked if I was looking for the Firecrest , as she had spoken to a couple of birders yesterday that were looking for it . As we talked she asked ' Is that it there ? ' . Looking into the what light there was , all I could make out was a small bird 'ballet dancing' in a nearby tree . ' Could be I replied ' and with that it flew back towards the bridge . The lady continued on her walk , and I headed towards the bridge . After a few minutes , a movement in a shrub caught my attention , and in the mirk , I finally managed to get binoculars on the bird and saw the orange
crest and more importantly , the white eye stripes . As usual with ' Crests ' , it didn't stop moving and that with the poor light made capturing any sort of shot almost impossible . I just tried to follow it , firing off shots , in the vain hope that it would come to rest . Most were rubbish , and many never even had the bird in them when looking back , but just one caught the bird , just before it moved off
again . After a couple of minutes it disappeared and even though I returned several times to the area , I never caught sight if it again . A walk around the lake and The Beck where it leaves the lake , found just the expected waterbirds , until I crossed the last bridge but one , and found a black duck with a
bottle green head , having a wash and brush up in The Beck , something I wasn't expecting . Even
more unexpected was when it had a shake down , revealing green and blue colouration all over . A group of walkers stopped as I was photographing it and asked what species it was . ' I haven't got a clue ' was my reply ' but I hope Google will be able to tell me when I get home ' . The duck seemed to
be part of a double act with an American Peking Duck type , one following the other's every move . My last shot was looking down The Beck from that bridge , with over half of the Mandarin seen
earlier , interspersed with some of the Mallard types . Back home , ' iridescent green duck ' was entered into Google and up popped Cayuga Duck , a resident of North America  and first seen I here at the Great Exhibition of 1851 . Almost definitely both escapees , but , could they possibly have teamed up with the American White Ibis at Sevenoaks Reserve for the flight over ??


Derek Faulkner said...

Apparently, in respect of the ducks, as well as laying 100-150 eggs a year, the early season eggs are coloured black, which is different.

Warren Baker said...

Well done with catching up with the Firecrest greenie :-) Your pics are as successful as mine were when I found one here! LoL