Holmethorpe Sand Pits, Surrey … Wednesday 15th to Monday 20th December 2010

Female SMEW

On the 15th, two female SMEW were on Mercers Lake.
The 16th produced a LITTLE EGRET at The Moors and a wintering Chiffchaff.
The 17th was a quiet day but things picked up a bit on the 18th when Gordon Hay found at least 3 female SMEW (possibly 4) at Mercers Lake along with an adult female GOLDENEYE, two Water Rails and another wintering Chiffchaff.
By the 19th, the 3 female SMEW were still around and 3 GOLDENEYE were in the area along with 4 Kingfishers and 4 Wigeon. A decent-sized flock of about 20 Lesser Redpolls were at Mercers Country Park as was the wintering Chiffchaff.
On the 20th, I could only find 2 female SMEW and one first-winter male GOLDENEYE at Mercers Lake but the Wigeon numbers had risen to 17 birds.

Female SMEW

Two Kingfishers, 3 Snipe, a Water Rail and 12 Lesser Redpolls made up the best of the rest.

The pits are icing over and Mercers Lake, at present, is the only water body with any substantial area of water that is free of ice. The majority of the waterfowl are gathered at the eastern end of the lake.



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