Thursday, 1 January 2009

1st January 2009

A male Mandarin Duck at Engine Pool was reported on BirdGuides during the morning. Unfortunately, I found out about this sighting quite late in the day and, once I was at the lakes, was only able to check Engine Pool reasonably well before it became too dark to ID birds. I didn't see the Mandarin Duck there, but it could've been at Windmill Pool as I saw the silhouettes of quite a concentration of waterfowl at an unfrozen area. The interesting thing about this reported sighting is that it's almost exactly a year ago to the day since a Mandarin was last reported at the lakes (also a male, 31/12/2007), which seems rather coincidental.
As already indicated, ice was covering much of the lakes and forcing waterbirds to the unfrozen areas which fortunately were mostly at the sides. At Engine Pool, I had good views of 4 Pochards and 9+ Tufted Ducks, as well as a Grey Heron walking on ice. As expected, a lot of people were walking around the lakes today, and it might be the same tomorrow.
M.P. Griffiths

P.S. As can be seen, on December 29th I renewed my request for records of birds observed at Earlswood to be emailed to me... Do people prefer submitting their sightings elsewhere (e.g. BirdGuides, BirdForum), and do they mind me reporting such sightings here without their permission? Also, are people even aware of this blog, reading it and finding it useful? Comments welcome.

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