My dad was working in Scarborough today, but one of his morning appointments had been cancelled. Instead, he came out with me for a couple of hours of birding around some of my local patches.

First stop – the mere! As usual, a huge amount of nasty feral geese. Prominent among them was the domestic Swan Goose, along with his half-breed family. No sign of Cloppy today, so I hope nothing upsetting has befallen him. The mere held absolutely nothing other than the very commonest inhabitants – the drake Red-Crested Pochard couldn’t be found today, and all the Great Crested Grebes seem to have found somewhere else to spend the winter – that is, until I was walking back along the other side and spotted an odd looking duck on one of the islands. A quiz for Robert, identify the duck!

Ooohhh, mysterious!

You get points for the correct answer, and you lose points for wrong answers. Choose wisely.

My guess is ferruginous duck. That or madagascan pochard. Probably ferruginous. Give me my points. Hopefully they come in the form of BHS vouchers.

Second site – the harbour! The tide was low, and there never seems to be quite as much stuff when the tide is low. Nevertheless, Great Crested Grebe was still there, normal assortment of gulls, Turnstones, as well as three Guillemots. One of the Guillemots didn’t look quite right somehow, but I think that this may be because it was dead and being eaten by a Herring Gull:

Wish it had been a Great Black Backed Gull, but you can’t have everything.

Final stop was Peasholm Lake. Once again, nothing out of the ordinary. No sign of the Mandarin (aww), but the Scaup was still hanging about, which was handy, as it was a great reference for explaining to my dad what I meant about Tufted Ducks sometimes having scaupy plumage.

And that was pretty much that. Hopefully something fantastic will turn up on one of the patches soon. (fingers crossed for Glaucous Gull at the harbour!)