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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Minsmere Long-tailed Duck

On Wednesday 25th May, I drove over to Minsmere after work to look at the LT Duck. I should have visited the previous evening as the dull overcast weather would have given better viewing than the brilliant sunshine I was greeted with and the sun setting in the west causing much glare on the water on the back of the east scrape where the bird was. I couldn't see it and it wasn't safe viewing directly into the sun with optical equipment. I spied a fine adult Little Gull complete with black hood. BBC cameramen were walking on the scrape one set up a camera just the side of the south hide and a warden came in to warn us to set up another camera by the BH Gull colony. It just as well he did, as all the Gulls flew up into the air, as did the Common Terns and ducks except the Long- tailed Duck, a magnificent male in full summer plumage with long tail only occasionally seen as it was mostly drooped in the water. It swam left and I could see the bird albeit mostly silhouetted. Matthew D and his girlfried then entered and I again showed him a rare bird I had refound! A BBC cameraman with a very fine full beard (as seems the fashion these days, not quite ZZ Top style but getting there!) entered the hide and started filming downstairs.

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