09 April, 2013
Patch Gold Garganey
After getting up close with one of the last wintering Gadwall on the main lake in Bushy Park yesterday evening, it looks like summer migrants are finally starting to hit London in force. Tony Duckett hit the jackpot yesterday morning, turning up an excellent drake Garganey on a small scrape in the west of Park, away from public access. Garganey is an good bird to find anywhere in Britain, but an adult drake, turning up in a small area that Tony has been maintaining for the past few years, is an excellent reward for his commitment to conservation in the Park.
I had a brief search for it last thing yesterday, but viewing is very much restricted to a small gap in the scrub along Duke's Head Passage (near Duke's Head Gate), and there was no sign of the bird on the small area of water that could be seen.
This afternoon, after bumping into Tony doing his lunchtime rounds, we found a better position to view the scrape, and the drake Garganey was duly flushed when a Snipe went up. It started to fly off strongly, before changing it's mind, re-settling back on the scrape, and falling asleep. A nice start to what will hopefully be a successful spring migration in the Park, with a Willow Warbler and multiple Chiffchaffs also singing in the Woodland Gardens on the way back to the car.