Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Smew on a London boating pond

A redhead Smew (Mergellus albellus) was found on the small boating pond in Alexandra Park in North London by Henry Wyn-Jones late yesterday afternoon. His photographs appeared to show that the duck was really close so trying to stick with my resolution to photograph more this year, I dragged myself out early into the gloom on a work day. On arrival it was fairly close but the rain was heavy. When it eased I got set up but it retreated further out and caught several small fish. It was fairly active, even sitting up on the main island (and revealing no rings) and later it was scuttling all over the pond as a pugnacious Little Grebe constantly chased it from its territory around the bamboo. The Little Grebe had no interactions with the Tufted Ducks, Pochards or Mallards, presumably because these species are not competing for it's fish! The light remained poor when I had to leave for work so I only managed a few records shots. Let's hope in hangs on till the weekend. More info on Dominic Mitchell's blog here.

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