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Blue-winged Teal (Male)

Never seen a drake Blue-winged Teal before. We did travel down to Dorset (from Hertfordshire) last December for a female, so when one was reported in Clyde I was tempted to travel from Perth, but it didn't really fit in with our other plans, so we didn't and then it stopped being reported. Yesterday one turned up in Perthshire at Levenmouth Pools, so off we trotted today hoping he'd still be around.

When we arrived there were only a couple of spaces left in the hide. Mrs L got seated in the centre, while I squeezed in on the left side. The bird was there, we'd had confirmation of that from birders we'd met walking out, but it wasn't in view at present seemingly it was settled down on the far side of an island, so nothing to do but wait.

Not much of a wait actually, maybe only ten minutes when I noticed the bird out in the open on the right side of the island. How did he slip out without us noticing was the reaction of the rest of the hide. Anyhow good views were had for the next few minutes as it dabbled around and then went into a channel to the right and out of view. Half an hour later it made the return journey and seemed to settle down behind the island again. As the hide was filling up a bit, we thought it a good time to leave and let someone else have a seat.

As we were walking out Mrs L says to me "You know when you first saw the bird - Well I'd seen it come out from behind the island and had been watching it for maybe a minute. I wondered what it was, possibly a Garganey gone wrong or something. Then when you said that was it, I thought I'll stay quiet, don't want to look daft! - I really should do my homework before we come out". Don't worry dear, your secret's safe with me I reassured her.

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