Friday 3 January 2014

The Goosander Have Returned

Todays run, after a brutal and muddy ten mile effort yesterday, was a gentle trip round the two lakes, to see what I might see.

The answer was - plenty!

As soon as I arrived at Balderton Lake, I noticed a large black and white duck crusing serenely despite the strong wind. Even at a distance, I could see the sharp looking red beak and black head indicating a male goosander. It is the first time I have spotted this diving, fish eating duck this winter, and a magnificent, handsome duck it is.

Running further around the lake, taking photographs that strained my little mobile phone camera to the limit, I came across comically panicking moorhens, honking geese, and another far off diving duck but with a chestnut red head this time. I figured this for the female goosander, although as will be seen, my photographs were not clear. To say the least.

Leaving the lake behind, I ran down the N64 and looked around Clay Lane for a while. Immediately, a flash of red and brown crossed my path, a redwing flushed by my approach, always looking like they are bleeding from the flank. And then the hedges along the path across Clay Lane park were busy with fieldfare - a flock of around 20-30 birds feeding off a rich crop of berries.

And by the railway line, less shy blackbirds gorged themselves on haws, and gazed at me with a cheeky eye, as the rain started to fall.

Balderton Lake moorhen
Tufted ducks in the wind
Canada goose and greylag/farmyard hybrid
Male goosander, obviously
Female goosander. I think and hope.

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