Friday, 21 December 2007

Big day for ducks!

With cold weather continuing, there's always a chance of something unusual dropping in. So it was that a drake Wigeon was found at 08:40 this morning (Dominic Mitchell), swimming with the Tufted Duck flock at the northern end of the reservoir. It was subsequently twitched by several local birders. The first record for the year, it takes the Alexandra Park total for 2007 to 112 species.

What chance of one more addition to the list before the end of the year? Seemingly little, but just one hour and 25 minutes later it happened - a female Goldeneye was spotted from the Birdwatch magazine office, which overlooks the park, flying up from the reservoir/New River area and apparently following the course of the river to the South/South-East (Dominic Mitchell, Des McKenzie, Ian Lycett). The new total of 113 species is now five higher than last year's previous best of 108 species.

The park was otherwise quite quiet this morning, though three Ring-necked Parakeets flew north-east over the Conservation Area and there were a couple of vocal Goldcrests in the vicinity. Tufted Ducks numbered 42 on the reservoir, where there was also a Little Grebe.