Saturday, 7 February 2015

Dodgy Duck and Glaucey Leucism

A relatively quiet week birdwise, but a new species of moth for the reserve made up for it and an interesting hybrid duck and leucistic gull was the best I could muster this morning.

Today's look around the patch took me to the beet factory, where numbers of wildfowl were very low, the only counts worthy of mention were 230 Teal and 34 Ruff. The interest came from 2 sightings of dodgy birds! The first was a large white winged gull which I only saw flying away from me. The gull had pure white upperwings and was very large, I think it could have been called Glaucous with a worse view, however I'm pretty sure it was a leucistic Herring Gull, I have since been informed that one from Lowestoft has been seen in the area....So if you think you see a white winger double check!
The second interesting bird was a Pochard type duck, this was with a male and female Common Pochard and was displaying to the female. The bird was pretty obviously not of pure blood as it had a yellow eye, peaked crown, darker brown hue to the head, dark upperparts and a lighter breast patch, the bill was also blue with a black tip. The bird was almost resembling Redhead, but I sort of knew from the start that I was looking at a Pochard x Ferruginous Duck drake, a nice bird to see all the same. Oddly there was a similar bird around last year which showed a red-brown colouration of the breast, I wonder if this could this be the same bird a year on?

The other avian highlight of the week came on Sunday, this was a fine drake Goosander on the river near Strumpshaw sluice. The bird remained until at least Wednesday, but was quite elusive at times.

So on to the major news... after recieving an email inviting me to a session to learn how to look for coleophora hydrolapathella I decided to have a look for myself to see if it was present. On Tuesday a few of us were at the area most likely to hold it, so we had a look and within 5 mins Luke had found a case, a later look found in excess of 20 cases in 20mins. So we have a very rare moth on site that we never knew about! This species is only found in a few places in Norfolk and 1 location in Suffolk. Attatched is an image of the silken case from which it feeds, not overly exciting but the records a gooden!


  1. Excellent duck, Ben! I might be forced to take a look! Never did bag the Goosander, though :(

  2. Was a bit of an odd one. Real deal next hopefully!