Redhead SMEW have been a feature over the past couple of weeks or so. They have been mainly seen at the eastern end of Mercers Lake with up to three females present at times.
A female GOLDENEYE remains on Mercers West Pit, although it did visit Mercers Lake for a while when Mercers West Pit froze over. At least three Water Rails have been seen and heard quite often recently and there are obviously a fair few more than three in the area. A Common Buzzard is regularly being seen in the Mercers Farm area and a LITTLE EGRET has been frequenting The Moors NR area.
A Green Sandpiper was present on the 27th December and a WAXWING flew over calling on the 1st January and two JACK SNIPE were seen in flight on the same day. Kingfishers are being reported on a daily basis and a large flock of Yellowhammers has gathered at Mercers Farm along with a flock of about 60 Skylarks, we're hoping for a Lapland or Corn Bunting amongst them.
On the 2nd January, Gordon Hay reported a male SHELDUCK at Spynes Mere.
A couple of male BRAMBLINGS turned up locally before the end of 2010 and, just a few hundred yards outside the bird recording area at Holmethorpe, a flock of up to 25 WAXWINGS are presently frequenting a private garden. Last year being a record year for the patch listers at Holmethorpe SPs. The patch year list totalled 142 species and Gordon Hay managed to tick 133 of them.
The local birders have already noted 77 bird species in just two days, so we are off to a good start.
For daily sightings at Holmethorpe SPs, visit http://holmethorpe.blogspot.com/.
Wishing you all a very happy New Year.