This trip was expected the moment from which it was released that there was a first winter female Ferruginous (Fudge) Duck on the nature reserve at Pugneys. Once again it was the lectures that took the hit, although I did go to my 9am waiting on news, before then making my way up to the site to be at the pond by 12.
I arrived and was quickly on the bird though it was distant and remained that way throughout the time I was watching except on one occasion. It swan round a corner with the Pochards and then remained there, out of sight, for about an hour before Darragh, a young patcher of Pugneys, suggested we go into the thicket and try to get it out. He went alone first but reported it still there, so when it failed to swim far enough out I ventured in with him and managed to get a much better view than I had before.
Sadly though the distance was not the only problem as the light became a major factor too and so I was unable to take any good photos, but I have a healthy selection of record shots which more than suffice.
Besides the Fudge Duck there were a couple of other bits and pieces knocking around. A Sparrowhawk came through twice and there was an indeterminate number of Siskins flying overhead. A kingfisher flew across the lake, which was a nice yeartick and on the reserve islands near the duck there was a healthy number of Sinensis type cormorants.
It was an excellent way to spend an afternoon and Ferruginous Duck is my third lifer of 2016 and brings my yearlist up to 103. Not bad given I've only been birding the best part of 2 weeks.
Pugneys CP: Tufted Duck, Pochard, Mallard, Wigeon, Shoveler, Ferruginous Duck, Moorhen, Coot, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Lapwing, Grey Heron, Herring Gull, Common Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull, Long-Tailed Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Robin, Blackbird, Siskin, Sparrowhawk, Bullfinch, Great-Crested Grebe,