A scan of the gulls near the sailing club this afternoon found three common gulls amongst black headed, herring and lesser black back. Also a grey wagtail on the side of the reservoir and two mute swans in the same area. Mistle thrush singing in Holwell Lane and a very bright greenfinch wheezing enthusiastically along the Strawberry Line.
Walk round the reservoir this afternoon found the male goldeneye, pair of shoveller, pair of gadwall, displaying great crested grebes, the pair of mandarin ducks, a grey wagtail near the sailing club plus a chiffchaff, songthrush and goldcrest
Single male Goldeneye north of Cheddar tower this AM.
Two male Goldeneye still north of Cheddar Tower this morning as the rain began to fall. They seemed to be displaying to each other but no females in sight!
Good number of pochards this morning: I counted 267. Also 2 drake goldeneyes off the Cheddar tower.
Sorry, yes, 2000 coot. Male goosander and goldeneye this afternoon and I counted 210 pochard. Also pair of bullfinch by the barn as I walked home down Holwell Lane.
The RBM was reported the previous day as well. There are usually Avocets wintering on the Parrett & they nest at Steart Point, if you want some closer (in distance & county) views…
Frankie, did you mean 2000 Coot rather than Grebe?
Thank you to the birder who told me about the Merganser as I was visiting the reservoir on Thursday!
A beautiful bird, I think it only stayed for the day unfortunately. :(
Good to see the resident female Mandarin now has a mate! He’s starting to get his breeding plumage and is a fine looking fellow!
Pics of the Merganser and the Mandarins plus lots of other bits and bobs on my blog here;
Couldn’t find the merganser this afternoon but a male goldeneye and male goosander on the reservoir. Quick count gave at least 40 great crested grebe, 8 cormorants and estimate of about 2000 coot. Bumped into Kim and we agreed at least 10,000 gulls in the roost and probably a lot more.
That’s good; he was performing really well early afternoon in the sunshine.
Also on the reservoir earlier today while I was watching the merganser: 13 shovelers, 8 pintails, 60 wigeons, 124 pochards and 38 tufted ducks.
And 9+ teals in Portmeade Ditch (runs west from the south-west corner of the reservoir.)
Merganser still at south side of reservoir at sunset
Also 2 male goldeneye early afternoon from Sharpham Road end
Highlight late this afternoon was a male red-breasted merganser south of the Axbridge tower and down to 50 m at times. Also one male goosander and another large gull roost.
2 male goldeneye and one male goosander through the mist on the reservoir late afternoon today.
Late this afternoon, just before sunset: kestrel hunting over gardens between reservoir and Cheddar Road - my first here for some time; 5 goosanders (4 male, 1 female); tawny owl calling from Strawberry Line; and a very large gull roost with birds still arriving more than 20 minutes after sunset. I made a crude estimate - and I’m not too confident about this - which gave me a range of 8000 - 12000 birds, mostly black-headed and herring/lesser black-backed but also some common and at least 2 great black-backed. I think it’s probable that my figure is an under-estimate!