Saturday 9 February 2013

Goosey Goosey Goosander

Today's run went out through a snowdrop sprinkled cemetery and out around Balderton Lake, where amongst the Grebes, Mallards and a low flying honk of Canada Geese, was that same unfamiliar black and white species I had first seen there a few weeks ago but not since.

They were large ducks, rather larger than a mallard, with from a distance black heads, a black back and white flanks. Further round the lake was a pair of them, one of them with a very obvious chestnut coloured head. They were divers too.

I pondered there identity as I completed my run round the lake and made my way along the cycling path, past London Road lake where the mallards were looking frisky and the Tufted Ducks looked like acquatic Othello pieces on a floating board. Up in the Oilseed Rape field on Beacon Hill Park, I flushed a large flock of pigeons. But my mind was ever on these mystery ducks...ok slight exagerration, I was thinking of a million and three ways to make my life better, but I kept mentally returning to the ducks.

They were Goosander, no doubt, the chestnut headed specimen being a female. They large diving ducks with a serrated bill for catching fish and amphibians. The heads are actually a dark bottle green on the males. This is a new species for me, and a new one for Balderton Lake in the last three years I've been running round it.

Pleased with myself!

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