Monday, 13 February 2012


A return visit today in the hope of connecting with the Smew again and hopefully getting some reasonable pictures was at least half successful.  Meeting Marc just after 10.00 a.m. we strolled down to Brook Reservoir with 16 Redwing overhead and a prowling Sparrowhawk for company.  The lake had thawed slightly and a larger area was filled with Shoveler, Wigeon, Tufted duck and Little Grebe.  Around 600 nervous Teal were ice-skating and a single Grey Heron was skidding on the frozen area.  We eventually found the Smew hiding behind a Mute Swan.  I reckon it must have had a packet of Nytol as it didn't move for about half an hour.  Marc flushed 3 Snipe along the dyke and we then spent the time counting Gadwall.  Sadly, we reckoned about 116.  The Smew sprang into life and swam around for nearly a minute and then rested again exhausted.  A quick trip to Shuart added Moorhen, 6 Woodcock and Greenfinch to the year list and I ended up at Netherhale where I added Buzzard to my list who was sitting bored in a tree.