Three hours were spent out on patch, the sky was dark and overcast and a breeze was blowing from a mild SW direction, many footpaths have now become streams of mud and standing water is lying in every dip, hollow and ditch. Birdlife was extremely difficult to find this morning, with a pitiful 35 species being recorded, maybe even the regular resident and sedentary species have had enough of this crap weather and migrated further south! :-)
The few highlights of my visit, were as follows, a BUZZARD over the (very) Wet Woods, a SPARROWHAWK over Migrant Alley and the KESTREL pair hunting over the Tree Nursery. I was also pleased to see that no less than 52 MALLARDS were on the water over at the lakes, but at the same time a little disappointed that there wasn't anything else with them.
As I neared home, hot tea and mince pies were on my mind, but a glance up at the sky over the Wet Woods had me reaching for my bins as 4 large ducks flew across, they turned out to be two pairs of GOOSANDER. I watched then circle round and then drop down, presumably onto the lakes, so hot tea and mince pies were put on hold, instead I got home and grabbed my camera, even though the light was poor, a record photo would be better than none :-)
When I arrived at the lakes again, only one pair of Goosander remained, and they were right at the back of the main lake, after an hour of waiting they came no closer than 40 or so meters, but I got my record shots, and I also had the chance of a record shot of a CORMORANT as that dropped in to fish. Even with the Goosander, Cormorant, and a flyover LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL which I saw on the walk back home, the days list still only reached 38 - very poor indeed !
Here's the record shots :-
|Fantastic - another two Goosander !|
|A few of the 52 Mallard present this morning - a peak count for the year no less!|