The first-winter male GARGANEY was seen at the flooded area of The Moors NR at Holmethorpe on the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th but not after that date.
A redhead SMEW appeared at Mercers Lake on the 17th and was seen in the area on most dates throughout the month with two birds present on the 21st and 22nd.
A female GOLDENEYE was present on Mercers West Pit throughout the month with two females present on the 22nd. Initially identified as a drake Scaup, an Aythya Scaup-like hybrid was at Mercers West Pit on the 21st and 22nd. A Shelduck appeared on the 5th with two birds present on several dates and three birds on the 8th and 21st.
Single LITTLE EGRETS were seen on many dates throughout the month with two birds present on the 16th and 19th, up to three birds on the 1st and 11th an four birds on the 12th.
We always struggle to find scarcer species of gulls at Holmethorpe but large numbers present during the month produced an adult MEDITERRANEAN GULL over The Moors NR on the 1st.
A second-winter ICELAND GULL was at Mercers Lake on the 7th and probably a first-winter at Spynes Mere on the 8th. Presumably the same birdwas over The Moors NR and landed at the landfill site on the 8th. Another, probably a first-winter, was briefly at Spynes Mere on the 21st.
ICELAND GULL 2nd-winter
A huge number of Great Black-backed Gulls were present on the 1st with 206 counted on Mercers Lake.
PEREGRINES were seen on the 2nd, 21st and 22nd and single Common Buzzards seen on the 1st, 8th, 16th and 17th with two birds seen on the 2nd. A TAWNY OWL was calling on the 1st and another was heard on the 8th.
A SNOW BUNTING was seen near the railway line behind the Water Colour housing development on the 8th.
A WOODCOCK was at Mercers east on the 13th and a JACK SNIPE was seen on the 15th. Common Snipe numbers are down on previous recent winters with the highrest count of the month being 29 birds on the 1st. Single Green Sandpipers were seen on 16 dates throughout the month with two birds present on the 8th, 13th, 15th, 18th and 21st. Lapwing numbers peaked at 320 birds on the 10th.
Single WATER RAILS were noted on the 1st, 2nd, 10th, 11th, 12th and 28th with two birds seen on the 6th, 8th, 13th and 22nd.
Kingfishers were present on several dates with three birds seen on the 2nd.