Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Long-tailed Duck

It took me 4 attempts to find the Long-tailed Duck on the estuary. On Friday I visited Bowling Green Marsh in the hope of seeing it from the viewing platform or Goat Walk, but as there was no sign I returned on Saturday for another attempt. There were a few 'firsts' for me for the season from the hide, including Spotted Redshank, Knot & Golden Plover. From the Goat Walk there was a duck of the right shape & size repeatedly diving in the channel over towards Turf Lock. Unfortunately the light was going so it was impossible to pick out any plumage details. It was probably the Long-tailed Duck, but I wasn't happy to count it. At least it was a lovely evening.

View of the Exe from the platform at BGM

                                                                     The Exe Estuary from the Goat Walk

I then spent the whole of Sunday across the estuary at Exminster Marsh. I checked the estuary from the path between the Exeter Ship Canal & the Estuary, which I hadn't even realised was there before. It was a bit overgrown & slippery, but it did give a much better view of the estuary than from the main canal path. I was at Turf Lock checking the estuary until the light started to go, when I walked back to the car park to be told that the duck had been in the lock channel behind me at Turf. Doh! I had a quick look at the Whooper Swan on the marsh & I dashed back to Turf Lock but the duck was nowhere to be seen.

So, back to Exminster again on Monday morning in the rain. I walked straight to Turf Lock to check the estuary, and after about 15 minutes the Long-tailed Duck finally showed itself out in the channel near red buoy 22. It was quite a way off but I had a good view as it wasn't diving. It stayed for about 10 minutes before disappearing out of sight behind a mud bank as it headed towards BGM.

                                               The Exe Estuary from Turf Lock, the Long-tailed Duck is out there...
Year List now on 208.

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