Wednesday, 23 December 2020

A surprise guest

Fresh NE wind with heavy showers in the morning, the rain eased a little by the afternoon.

Pale-bellied Brent - just a quick check from the promenade with x10 binoculars located at least 5 in the skeer corner at 12:45

Middleton Nature Reserve early afternoon (MD)
Gadwall 15
Shoveller 2 (1 male, 1 female)
Tufted 1 (male)
Goosander 1 (male) I think this is the first ever record of one on the reserve ponds. Goosander are barely annual here, but there have been more sightings than usual this year.
This is on the "no swimming" pond

It didn't dive at all, but kept dipping its head in the water as though drinking. Hopefully it had been fishing and was washing one down, there are plenty of small Perch in this pond. It does look like it's trying to digest something.
First seen 13:15 and still on the pond at 14:15, but I saw it flying north as I drove away. Probably just a quick stop off after the morning's heavy rain, but hopefully it may return, the red headed Goosander seen on Saturday was flying from the direction of this pond.

Finally, I'm not a botanist, but I'm pretty sure that December is early for these Hazel catkins 
My (albeit elderly) reference book says:
"A sure sign of spring"!