Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Northern Pintail and Wigeon at ATT

With the Coot safely counted Fred and I continued with the small boat across a wonderfully serene and unexpectedly high Ang Trapeang Thmor on the 28th January 2013, clearing a path through a large number of Black-backed Swamphen as we did so. With the despondent honking pleas echoing all around some unseen disturbance in the far distance scattered many duck. We clocked a group of Comb Duck and the vast majority were the expected Lesser Whistling Ducks, clear even at this range. I soon noted another group that were obviously different, about 150 dabbling ducks flying extremely fast. Being so distant but having some impression of greyish about them I figured they must be part of the Garganey flock, which numbered 2160 when I counted them, not far from this area, the previous day. Still, I took four photos of the group just for the sake of it, or maybe my subconscious was kicking in. 
So it was actually a group of about 119 Pintail and, if you look closely, 1 Wigeon.
Eurasian Wigeon, male, more or less in the middle
Can't believe my duck radar is that rusty! I've only been away from the UK since September. Still, Ang Trapeang Thmor is the place in Cambodia to see these species, with recent counts of 157 on 28th January 2009 and 150+ on 6th February 2010. Wigeon is much rarer, but recent records include 4 with other dabbling ducks on the former date, so were presumably with Pintail on that occasion as well. More recently five were seen at ATT on 12th February 2011. 

Rob Martin

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