When I first saw this critter steaming along with the Tufties on Sands Lake this afternoon, I assumed the male Lesser Scaup from earlier in the year had popped up again after a month or so of absence.
Especially when it flapped its wings to show a broad white bar on the secondaries only, with all dark upper primaries - so far so Lesser Scaup.
But unfortunately ducks are rarely that straightforward....it was a touch bigger than the Tufties and the head shape seems all wrong for Lesser.
This was confusing - Lesser wing pattern and perky stance, but Greater head shape and bulky jizz.
I hate ducks.
Why not go and have a look for yourself and see what you think - Greater or Lesser Scaup?
As long as the Tufties are about, I doubt it'll be going anywhere.
Much more straightforward was a slimy looking female Ruddy Duck (shhhh, don't tell the cullers), diving away at the northern end.
My dragonfly hunt was shafted by the blue skies disappearing before I got down to the dunes, but at least the flora is doing the bizz, with Bee, Pyramidal and Marsh Orchids blooming, a few Dune Helleborines nearly in flower and Marsh Helleborines in all the usual places.
Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Kestrel etc about, otherwise quiet.
Happy duck grilling folks.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...