Monthly Archives: January 2016

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Going back a few weeks now, I started the year with a superb early morning visit to Holywell Pond. One of the first things I saw was the resident male Mute Swan, in the process of evicting last year’s young from the vicinity of the pond.

Two of the young had already departed but two remained. One was pinioned against the fence by its neck, courtesy of the male parent, whilst its sibling cut a forlorn figure close to the public hide.  This is the bird in the photograph.

We often take these majestic birds for granted but they really are beautiful. It’s a marvel to me that such large birds can breed so unobtrusively and with great success, throughout our lakes, ponds and waterways.

Perhaps it’s down to the tough love? Whatever it is, I am sure that the young birds will find their own territories in due course and settle down to become successful breeders themselves.

I love redheads

Female Smew with male Goosander

Rather forlornly I left Killingworth lake this morning having been unable to locate the female Smew that has been frequenting both the small and large ponds over the last few weeks (although I did manage a bonus female Scaup).

My next stop was Holywell pond, for only my third visit of the year where the fields and hedgerows on approach seemed almost bereft of any life. On the way to the public hide I could see some of Friday’s geese, as well as three or four Goosander but when I sat down in the hide and had a good look at what was on the water I was amazed to spot a female redhead Smew close in to the shore.

The same bird that has been at Killingworth? I reckon so but who knows. What I do know is that this redhead was gorgeous!