Monday, 1 March 2010

1st March 2010

Cycled to the lakes early morning, enjoying the pleasant weather and it became clear there'd been more waterbird movement since yesterday. Great Crested Grebe numbers had increased some more to 20, and whilst most of yesterday's less-common duck species had left the lakes (including the Mandarin Ducks, sadly), there was a female Pochard at Windmill Pool. Terry's Pool held 5 Goosanders and 2 Kingfishers, with up to 6 (!) noisy Jays plus 2 Treecreepers and 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers around the sides; 2 Mute Swans at Mereside Pools were unusual. Also unusual was a redhead Goosander I saw at Engine Pool (possibly one of the birds seen at Terry's), as well as a Grey Wagtail, and heard a Green Woodpecker nearby. As well as the Pochard, the Muscovy Duck was still at Windmill Pool, whilst 25 Lapwings (first flock I've seen at Earlswood this year) and 3 Buzzards passed over. Whilst talking to a lady (who reads this blog) along the track from Windmill Pool to Malthouse Lane, 3 Siskins were noted. Then along Malthouse Lane as I was leaving, met local birder Bob Roberts, who I've met before, and he too said he reads this blog - it's good to know some people are enjoying it and it encourages me to continue.

Bob hadn't seen the Mandarin Ducks today either, but did note the 2 Mute Swans at Mereside Pools, as well as 5 Goosanders, 5 Tufted Ducks, a Kingfisher and c. 40 Black-headed Gulls, amongst other birds, at Terry's Pool. He also kindly sent me details of a male Mandarin Duck he saw at Terry's Pool last year, together with this pic:
Mandarin Duck, 09/09/2009 (© Bob Roberts)

This is the third confirmed record of this species at the lakes in 2009 that I'm aware of. It's interesting to note that this species has been reported at the lakes every year now since 2007, so I'm confident others will be found, although most seem to only stay a day and could easily be missed.

M.P. Griffiths

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