|Bad photo of the Cormorant, you can just about see the fins|
As I scanned I picked up a Cormorant near the Outfall rocks, it was trying hard to drag something along the top of the water, as I got the scope on it, I realised it was a massive fish. The fish was as long as the Cormorant and was probably a Bass or a Mullet, the Cormorant was holding it at the top while the fish was trying to dive. It had absolutely no chance of eating the fish, but despite this it would not let it go, the contest eventually disappeared round the rocks.
|Black Tailed Godwits searching for mud at high water|
Small groups of Black Tailed Godwits had started to show looking for some early mud along with the odd Redshank and a single Grey Plover, also heard Common Sandpiper calling. Scanning through the hordes of Gulls mid river produced a cracking 1st winter Mediterranean Gull, only the 2nd record for the site after last years 2 juveniles.
Decided to move further down where I had seen the 2 Greater Scaup on January 2nd, it proved a good move as the tide was just revealing some mud and the Blackwits were just starting to pile in.
|Black Tailed Godwits dropping in|
|A pair of Greater Scaup, closest bird a female by size|
Straight away I picked up 2 Greater Scaup in with the Pochard flock so presumed that these were the 2 same birds from Jan 2nd, those birds were 1st winters, on looking at these 2, it looked like they were 1st winters but not so advanced in plumage. The duck flock on this stretch of the Thames stretch’s round to the right upriver, and is an area I cant access, it is possible that the other 2 could still be present.
|Drake Greater Scaup|
|Duck Greater Scaup, quite obviously feeding on the bottom|
Additional species seen were 98 Redshank at roost, 4 Grey Wagtails and 2 Great Crested Grebes working the Outfall.