Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Wetland Wonderland

Panama Flats (complete with cackling geese...)
Thanks to the clocks having gone back, I was able to get an hour's birding in before work on Tuesday morning - hoorah!  
I decided to concentrate my efforts on Panama Flats now that the water levels are sufficiently high to be attracting a mix of wildfowl.
As I stepped from the car in the parking area by Hyacinth Park I noticed a few sparrows along the footpath. They were mostly fox sparrows, but a handsome white-throated sparrow was showing well too.
At the flats, the southwest quadrant was positively teeming with ducks. Hundreds of pintail, American wigeon, mallard and green-winged teal were busily dabbling in the water. Scanning through, I couldn't find any Eurasian teals but I did see one drake Eurasian wigeon.
Northern shoveler and hooded merganser were also present in lower numbers, along with a few American coot.
Sat high in the usual conifer, a peregrine was keeping an eye on activity below.

Snoozing drake Eurasian wigeon (left)
Yet more birds were on the northwest quadrant, including the 'resident' flock of cackling geese and the greater white-fronted goose that has been associating with them for a few weeks. Two more drake Eurasian wigeon (one pictured) were found among the throng of commoner ducks and there were several gadwall present.
I flushed a Wilson's snipe from a wet grassy patch before walking along the central berm. A juvenile northern harrier drifted by and started quartering the marshy areas and as I watched it I heard the distinctive sound of a calling greater yellowlegs. The bird flew in from the north, settling and feeding for a few minutes before taking off once more, continuing south. 
Passerines were pretty thin on the ground, with just a scattering of savannah sparrows and red-winged blackbirds seen3 American pipits flew low over, but I didn't see whether they dropped down or carried on through.   

No comments:

Post a Comment