Late January often see's the start to abit of duck movement around the region, and combined with some icy weather, you often get some surprises in odd locations.
The icy conditions had increased duck numbers at Sheepwash Urban Park, highlighted by a awesome flock of 16 Shoveler! This is by far the most i have ever seen here, having only previously seen a maximum of 2! Two thirds of the flock were feeding close to the bank, giving excellent views as the 'swirled' with a flock of Mallard
2 Teal were feeding on the bank below us before moving over to the muddy 'spit', however, these are a wintering pair, and not part of a cold weather influx.
40c Pochard were roosting on the edges of the 'Dunlin' Island. A check of both the Chemical Pool and the Mound were uneventfull, as was the marshy pools. However, on crossing the Tame bridge, i looked down and staring right back at me was a COMMON SNIPE stood motionless in the mud on the edge of the river. With the bird being no more than 20ft from where i was standing, i was treated to some awesome views.
A nice little winter visit. A nice flock of Shoveler, Pochard, as well as Teal and a Snipe equal a decent visit to the park!