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Elmley NRR, Jan-Feb 2024

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Pictures from Elmley up to 17th Feb.  There was, amazingly, a White tailed Eagle on the reserve in February, but it remained distant and very elusive. There were also Peregrine and a Merlin, which also eluded me.  I did manage to see the ermine (white) Stoat but it was too quick for a photograph. The reliable highlight was the regular appearance of Short eared Owls. There are up to 30 birds still on the reserve in February. However the star bird for the first part of the year was the Bittern. We finally spotted on a Bittern on the 1st February, just by gate 2. Lapwing Pied Wagtail Skylark Mute Swan Hare Ruff Dunlin Curlew Cormorant Buzzard Marsh Harrier Kestrel Bittern Barn Owl Short eared Owl

WWT London, Jan 2024

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I took advantage of a rare day of sunshine to visit the WWT London site in SW13.   There was a Bittern sighted in the morning, but it eluded me (no surprise) and it had not been seen by anyone I talked with in the hides. As always, it was a pleasure to get close to their managed collection of waterfowl. Canada geese Common Pochard (wild bird) Cormorant (wild birds) Common Crane Eider Goldeneye Greater Scaup Hooded Merganser North American bird, female pictured below. Maned Duck Australian wood duck. Red crested Pochard Southern europe / Central Asia bird but there are reports of it breeding in the Uk, possibly escaped birds. Ring necked Duck Smew Wood duck North American perching duck. Vagrants occaisonally arive in the UK. I saw one in 2022 on Creekmoor ponds. That bird was assumed to be an escapee. Ring necked Parakeets (wild birds) Goldcrest An apparently very confident bird, feeding on a fire tree right next to a path. However it had a damaged right eye, so perhaps it was expandi