The 21st produced a female or first-winter male GOLDENEYE on Mercers Lake along with two pairs of Wigeon, 2 Kingfishers and an impressive count of five Water Rails.
WATER RAIL (Graham)
On the 22nd there were at least two (and possibly three) female SMEW on Mercers Lake, their flightiness and ability to disappear into overhanging bankside branches making it difficult to be certain just how many birds were involved. A Kingfisher and a couple of Siskins were the best of the rest.
No reports came in on the 23rd and 24th (all too busy Christmas shopping!).
Christmas Day saw Gordon out at the pits where he had a very good morning, noting 12 WAXWINGS by the railway line at the Holmethorpe Industrial Estate, the flock perching for ten minutes before flying off over the railway line towards the Holmethorpe patch. He also saw one female SMEW on Mercers Lake, one female GOLDENEYE on Mercers West Pit, a LITTLE EGRET , 15 Common Snipe, a Common Buzzard, five Siskins and two Lesser Redpolls amongst the commoner species. A large flock of about 180 Goldfinches at The Moors NR was also notable.
Paul had a couple of hours at the pits on Boxing Day and logged two female SMEW and a female GOLDENEYE on Mercers Lake, six Siskins and a Common Buzzard.
With good numbers of Bitterns and White-fronted Geese in the south-east, the race is on to add these species to the 2010 Holmethorpe year list during the next few days.