Sunday, 24 January 2016

Red-Breasted Merganser - Mergus Serrator

Date: 24th January 2016 - Afternoon
Location: Newton Park Lake - Return


Observation: 

Headed out through Bath Mill, pretty quiet with a few Wood Pigeons. Top Fields were also quiet, Buzzard was sat in tree overlooking the Bypass. Lower Fields were full of Gull's again, mostly Lesser Black-Backed and Black-Headed Gulls. Approx 60-70. 

At Lake, still no sign of Little Owl's (think they've gone). Top Lake we started counting the Goosander, got to 17 and then the next one to be counted was a Red-Breasted Merganser!!


He seemed to be very active, whilst we watched him for 50+ minutes, he was very interested in one particular Female where he was showing off doing his mating dance and followed her around. 

After looking closely at this Female and the other Females on the Lake, we confirmed they are all Goosander and the Male was the only Red-Breasted Merganser present, is this just one very confused Merganser ?










After 50+ minutes of watching the Merganser and his mating ritual he started going down to the other end of the Lake, so we followed him around, we looked away for seconds and couldn't relocate him, gave the banks and water a few good scan, and re-checked Lower Lake, but no sign of him! Will head back out Tuesday to see if he has returned. 

A pair of Kingfishers, flying around the Lake, calling to each other, a single Grey Wagtail is back on Top Lake also. The Buzzard was in far trees on Top Lake flying down to the floor and returning to the trees.

The Goosanders seem to be settling in and aren't as jumpy now, they seem to be coming alot closer when we are sat at the Top Lake, fingers crossed they stay and have a successful breeding year!


Headed back through Lanes, the pair of Stonechats present in 'Horse Fields' this means we have 2 pairs of Stonechats on our patch now!

'Horse Fields' had a small group of Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails, who were feeding quite happily.

At the crossroads, the Kestrel was in his normal place, a few pictures and then off he went!


Overall, a very nice walk, hopefully this summer will be a good one!
A very nice surprise with the Red-Breasted Merganser and always nice to see new birds on our patch! 
Takes our Patch list to 83 species !
2016 total 50 so far.

Weather: Cloudy, Light Drizzle + Warm (15 Degrees!)

Other Species: Buzzard, Kestrel, Rook, Crow, Jackdaw, Nuthatch, Wren, Siskin, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Goosander, Red-Breasted Merganser, Teal, Stonechat, Bullfinch, Song Thrush, Goldfinch - Of Note


Thanks For Reading!