Friday, 17 December 2010

Green-winged Teal at Caerlaverock, Dumfries & Galloway

December 16, 2010:
A male Green-winged Teal had been reported as being spasmodically present at Caerlaverock over the past few weeks. With prolonged hard weather conditions forecast, the chance was taken to pay a visit before travelling became too hazardous. On arrival, it was not surprising to find most of the water iced-over but on each of the pools at least a small area remained ice-free where the wildfowl were able to swim. There must have been about 200 common Teal on the pool where the Green-winged was thought to be but, despite this, it was easily located as it cruised about in a small unfrozen area whilst most of the other ducks rested on the icy bank close by.

However, the Teal soon tired of swimming and climbed out onto the ice to preen before deciding to sleep for a while. It is a north American bird which has presumably gone wildly astray on its migration south

Nearby, two Bramblings fed along the wall top amongst a flock of Chaffinches.

There were also several thousand Barnacle Geese on the surrounding fields and a large flock of Whooper Swans on another pool together with many Wigeon and Mallard. It was freezing hard as the sun set so the birds would have another harsh night ahead.

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