Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Waterfowl fest at Hilgay

Nick Carter, Conservation Officer (Fens) 
A brief visit to Hilgay in early July came up trumps with migrating waders and breeding duck. 

Ruff group, photo by Nick Carter
t least 10 male ruff, moulting out of their finery but still stunning, were present in the lagoon area. As usual the variation in colouring between the different males made you think they were different species with some predominately white, others dark and even a few red ones. On occasions they flew around as one group but when feeding often spread out.

There was also greenshank, green sandpiper, oystercatcher, a small flock of lapwing, two avocets and redshank onsite. Later in the week another observer saw 20 ruff and 10 black-tailed godwit. In birdwatching terms the autumn migration is now in full swing!

Brood of tufted duck, photo by Nick Carter
The brood of five pochard young are still present with a noticeable growth of the youngsters. Nearby a brood of 10 tufted duck is also present, although the ducklings are younger than the pochard ones. There is still one well-grown great-crested grebe present and plenty of young coot and black-headed gulls around.

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