Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The LTD.

Mitchell and Oakes both described the Long-tailed Duck (LTD) as rare in Lancashire and little has changed very much since, though by the end of the 1960's birds were being seen annually, most of which were off Morecambe with records of three or more each winter, but this is certainly not the case today.

The LTD found on the River Lune in Lancaster on 8 November is an exceptionally good record of a bird far removed from its wintering areas off Eastern Scotland and the Northern Isles which renders the species rare in Lancashire. The birds preference for deep sea - which is more than that of most other sea-ducks - means that many are missed by shore based sea-watchers. Above average influxes do occur occasionally along the Lancashire and North Merseyside coasts, the largest being in the winter of 1991 when c.40 were seen between Morecambe and Formby Point.  

The first mention of LTD in Britain was described in a letter in 1762 after two had been seen feeding together on a river in Co Durham, a male and female were originally thought to be two separate species of duck both being described as 'Swallow-tailed Sheldrakes. The LTD had clearly gone unnoticed, today it is a common winter visitor averaging c.20,000 individuals, a figure which pales into insignificance in comparison with populations elsewhere in Europe, with half a million birds in N.Norway and the Baltic.

The LTD found on the River Lune in Lancaster, Lanc's on 8 November was still present 12 days later in the same area of the river yesterday, I have at the time of writting not seen any reports of the bird today.

Well I never did want to overdo the Waxwing thing, but like I've said before....

Waxwing Gary Jones

If I'm going to keep on coming across photographs of Waxwings like this one then they're sure to keep cropping up on Birds2blog. 

Buzzard Gary Jones

And for the GJ double, a Buzzard....Thanks Gary, not just photographs of a Waxwing and a Buzzard, but brilliant ones.

Birding opportunities for me are not looking all that good again at the moment, but leave the worrying about that to me.


Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Hello Peter! .. What an honor for me to see my picture in your home .. Thank you very much .. The meeting in Cordoba was a success .. We'll upload pictures .. A hug ..

Pete Woodruff said...

The 'honour'is mine/ours for allowing it on here Ana....look forward to seeing the images from your meeting in Cordoba.

Christian said...

I agree - they are brilliant images. Very high quality.