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What's behind the (admittedly accurate) title?
It's a long story, really. The photo was taken on Tuesday last when the river was in full flood. It was a fascinating experience in the sense that all the birds were behaving in a way that just wasn't normal. The first thing I found weird was, when walking past a stand of 3 willow trees and hearing a strange bird call coming from the trees. I immediately investigated. I walked in closer, looking up, naturally, but could see nothing. Suddenly, close to the water's edge, a bird rose with a great clatter from my feet. It was a Partridge! Now you might think there's nothing unusual in that but, believe me, this is not a habitat in which you would expect to find a partridge!
Anyhow, after that, I became aware of some goosanders which were hugging the near bank. Normally, these birds would move towards the middle of the river or the far bank at the first sign of your approach but on this occasion they were (or seemed) quite comfortable sitting there just five/six feet from me. (I got some close-up pictures I never thought possible).
I came to realise the reason for all of this unusual behaviour was that the near bank was much more calm than the river as a whole which was a raging torrent. The birds were obviously in need of some respite.
Anyhow, to get to the point, I came across a group of mallards (the most common bird on the site) and noticed this very small bird. It seemed to be hanging out with one adult bird in particular and, I guess, I just assumed it was, for some strange reason. a very late born mallard. (I have never seen Teal at this location before). so, that's about it, really. Until Ian (Ophrys) came up with the Teal ID.
There were other unusual happenings but I won't go into that now.
hope that satisfies your curiosity
For the full unexpurgated discussion on Teal v Mallard see:
which as always was quite interesting.
I didn't notice!
Lat/Lng: 55.6003, -2.43852
OS grid ref: NT724341