Monday, 24 January 2011

Down about an Eider

record shot of the Smew

The plan for today was to go for the Bewick's Swans at Cobham after college with Phil but seeing as they had moved off we decided to look for the Eider at a private site instead (I was glad, really, as the Eider was comfortably within my local listing area and a mega bird for it too).

The lake at the site looked brilliant for birds but there was no Eider. I had stumbled across the site on Google Maps before and thought it looked promising, looking at the lake infront of me I was even more convinced that several scarce and rare birds must have gone through unrecorded in the past. I found a redhead Smew (a local tick for me, so not a wasted trip - I thought it may be a London tick too but the border buts straight through the middle of the lake and the Smew was unfortunately just out of the circle!) and there were about 27 Wigeon present. 66 Lapwings were scattered over a reasonably sized sand spit and I daydreamed about the other species of wader that must have set foot there before. I did notice, however, the total lack of Grey Herons and any ducks other than Mallard, Tufted Duck, Wigeon and Smew. I'm tempted to, when I'm older and have a car, attempt to gain access rights and make occasional visits.

Yesterday, after spending the morning at the patch, I made a casual visit to Reculver with Phil. My main hope was Hooded Crow but we couldn't even find a Carrion Crow. 3 Shorelarks and several Red-throated Divers were very nice, though.