Posts Tagged ‘Goosander’

On a cold chilly and somewhat damp morning, Keith and I made our way to east London to investigate the newly opened Walthamstow Wetlands nature reserve. Although Walthamstow Reservoirs (as it was previously known) has been accessible to birdwatchers for a number of years (by permit), the changes in water management has led to a new approach which has opened up the site to the public for more recreational use with the creation of footpaths and the conversion of the old engine house into a visitors centre and cafe. From here we had good views of a Red Fox.

Old Engine House, now the visitor centre

Red Fox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many circular walks and Keith and I headed off to the two reservoirs known as East and West Warwick. Her we found a number of species of gulls and duck. As we walked along the side of West Warwick a female Goosander took to the air and flew off towards the visitor centre.  Returning to East Warwick 30 minutes or so later we found that, or maybe a second, female Goosander present.

Common Gull

Goosander (f)

 

From the elevated reservoir path, we also saw a pair of Europen Stonechat and witnessed a tussle between a Kestrel and a magpie who both wanted the same perch.

Kestrel and Magpie dispute post

Stonechat

 

Crossing the Coppermill stream, past Coppermill Tower, which when open will give views of the entire reserve, we were surprised to see a Mallard with 13 small chicks, which could not have been more than a week or two old. Very late breeding – Witness once again to the mild autumn that we have had in London.

Coppermill Tower

Mallard with young

 

 

 

 

 

Making our way back to the visitor centre between No5 and No 2 reservoirs we found a female Goldeneye on No 5 and a number of Great Crested Grebe on No 2. By now the rain had begun to settle in for the afternoon and so after a warming cup of tea, we decided to forgo a walk around the northern section of the reserve which contains a further two large reservoirs and head for the station and home.

Great Crested Grebe

Goldeneye (f)

 

A wonderful introduction to a new jewel in Londons natural habitat, I expect it will not be long before we return.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)

Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

 

DSCN5342a

A free morning and the chance to get out and do some birdwatching with Sue. We chose to visit one of our favourite places Bough Beech Reservoir near Sevenoaks. On arrival it was noticeable that the water level was much lower than on our previous visit, but despite the exposed mud there was little to be seen on the northern basin. The main reservoir lies to the south of the causeway and immediately the long-staying Great White Egret was located.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

A pair of Goosander were soon seen swimming across the reservoir and later the male came closer to the causeway.

Goosander

Goosander

A flash of blue was the only sighting of a Kingfisher as it sped from one side to the other. There were small parties of Teal, Wigeon and Shovellor along with a half a dozen Great Crested Grebes.

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

On the banks were a large group of Greylag geese, Cormorants and Lapwing together with a party of about 20 Mandarin Duck (the largest number I have ever seen here).

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Checking the Northern basin before we left I found this Little Egret posing for pictures.

Little Egret

Little Egret

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)

We visited Kendal in Southern Lakeland twice during our holiday. There was an information board by the River Kent as it runs through the town which told us what a great birdwatching site it was. Guess what we saw nothing the first time we were there. Thankfully we went back for another visit and this time we got all the local specialities.

River Kent in Kendal

River Kent in Kendal

It did not take us long to find a Grey Wagtail on the shingle at the edge of the river.

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

There was a party of 5 Goosander lazing on the rocks in the middle of the river giving excellent views.

Goosander

Goosander

2 down 1 to go. Now where was that Dipper? Eventually without any sightings we began to walk back to the car park. Then suddenly a small dark bird flew past us down the river. yes it been there all the time but we hadn’t seen it. We walked down the river but couldnt locate where it had gone. Sue suggested that we go onto the road bridge over the Kent and look from there. Looking over the far side we found the bird right below us. It seemed completely unaware of us and allowed me to take photos and video it before it finally moved off.

Dipper

Dipper

Dipper

Dipper

Just goes to show even with resident birds two visits to the same place can produce two very different outcomes – that’s nature watching for you!