Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I had to pop back to Maidstone last night, so thought I'd stay the night and pop into Mote Park first thing before heading off to RSPB Northward Hill. This morning, it was SO cold!!!! The Little Owl was perched in the favourite old oak east of Mote House. I only had half an hour so focused all my attention on the icy Lake.
Only the eastern section of the Lake remains clear of ice, and so most of the wildfowl are congregated around this area. Birds of note are as follows: 8 Mute Swans, 1 drake Teal, a pair of Gadwall, 14 Tufted Duck, 41 Pochard, and 2 Little Grebes. As I scanned the lake, a dog jogger passed the Inlet where a flotilla of Coots flapped and splashed out into the centre of the Lake. At the same time, 2 redhead (female) SMEW took flight from the reeds nearby and flew over to the Weir - fantastic!!!!! A first for me in Mote Park - the last record being in 2005, and I missed that individual. When I eventually caught up with them I realised that there were in fact 3 redhead Smews in total! What a start to the day?! I attempted to catch up with them to get at least one photo before I had to leave.
REDHEAD (FEMALE) SMEW