I was drawn to Tophill mainly because of the continued visitation of a Green-Winged Teal, but also because it is close to home with the weather about to close in yet again. Yesterday was quite stormy, and the strong westerly winds were forecast to continue today. On that basis I decided to use the Watton hide, hoping that the birds may congregate towards the area away from the Tophill reserve. Things didn’t work out quite as planned in that sense, but on arrival I was able to get some good views of the Green-Winged Teal, the reported red-headed Smew, and a female Garganey. However, before I could take any photos, a couple of Roe deer came prancing across the causeway putting all the birds up. Unfortunately I was not then able to relocate the Smew or GWT, and I didn’t see them for the rest of the day.
|Female Garganey with Teal|
The White-Fronted geese were in plentiful supply, and a few came quite close, intermingling with Greylags so that you could clearly see the differences. They also gave a few fly-passes, taking to the air when the Greylags bullied their way through the throng to the water.
|White-Fronted in comparison with a Greylag Goose|
|Fly-pass White-Fronted geese|
It wasn’t the best of days with the cold and the wind. However, it was a great opportunity to practice with my new optics if nothing else.