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This Long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) was first spotted in Cardiff Bay by a local birder on 19 December, so I walked that way the following day but only managed very distant views of it as a black-and-white dot feeding far out in the Bay.

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Luckily for me, though the duck wasn’t seen for several days, it appears to have lingered unseen, perhaps amongst the reed beds, until it was re-found on 27 December. So, on the 29th’s walk, I went looking once again and struck it lucky, as the bird was with the large Tufted duck flock in the Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve.

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Initially, it was very distant but then it suddenly decided to fly over very close to where I was standing on the viewing platform. Almost as if it had ‘ants in its pants’ or was being nibbled from below, it acted very unsettled, flying back and forth a few times, before disappearing out beyond the moored boats, into the River Taff. What a treat it was to have such close views of this charming little winter visitor.

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