It’s been a pretty eventful December for Longham Lakes. Here are the most recent highlights in reverse order.
Black Swan 1, Wigeon 189, Gadwall 13, Shoveler 3, Mediterranean Gull 1 (Trevor Thorpe). 1 Cetti’s Warbler along the causeway (Alan Pearce).
Now 4 Pintails, 2 males and 2 females, on Longham Reservoir South. Water Pipit reported in the morning (Lorne Bissell). Also 1 Stonechat.
27th December 2012
No sign of either female Smew or Water Pipit, BUT 3 Pintail present (2 males) – George Green and Alan Pearce.
1 Water Pipit in southwest corner of LR South. After playing hide & seek in the grass/reeds it took flight towering east. (Lorne Bissell) 3 Green Woodpeckers, Kingfisher, calling Cetti’s warbler and Water Rail were the highlights of this morning’s cold walk round the lakes. Also two Roe Deer and the usual good numbers of common ducks. No sign of the Smew (Chris Parnell).
I carefully searched for the Water Pipit along the shoreline of the south lake, but had no definate sightings. I located 2 Meadow Pipits (1 along the south shore and 1 along the east shore) + a pipit sp. along the causeway which looked interesting. I only managed a couple of brief flight views before it headed to the island, but it seemed darker and plainer backed above and whiter below than a Mipit. Unfortunately it didn’t call. It still could have been wishful thinking on my part! Otherwise redhead Smew showing well in NW corner of LR South and only my 2nd Mediterranean Gull since the spring. (George Green)
1 Water Pipit (south end of south lake) 1 female Smew still south lake & 2 adult Great Black-back Gulls (Lorne Bissell).
No sign of the Smew this morning at the Lakes, but a female Goldeneye and large numbers of Wigeon and Teal.
Roe Deer, Longham Lakes, December 2012 (Alan Pearce)
1 Black Swan, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldeneye (fem), 1 Smew (fem/1st winter), 1 Water Pipit. (Lorne Bissell)
Weasel showing well on the northern path this afternoon. First time I’ve seen it there (Chris Parnell). It’s a mega indeed – just one previous record.
Pair of Bullfinches along Green Lane, and both Fieldfare and Redwing, plus Mistle Thrush on the horse paddocks. Kingfisher perched near the “ghost” [white flag in shape of ghost] by visitor centre. Green Woodpecker showing well along causeway. Water level even higher than last visit. (Chris Parnell)
The water level has risen and covered all suitable wader habitat so it wasn’t a surprise to find the White-rumped Sandpiper gone this morning. Highlights of a very cold visit were Redwings along Green Lane, 2 Kingfishers, my first Peregrine for several months,a Cetti’s Warbler and a Chiffchaff in Emily’s wood. No exciting ducks I’m afraid but two Water Rails calling (Chris Parnell).
After showing on and off, the White-rumped Sandpiper was recorded for the last time.
Alan Hayden kindly supplied this superb picture of the White-rumped Sandpiper from today.
Chris Parnell: “White rumped sandpiper still on the island today, but as the water level rises I wonder if it will move on? Also good numbers of common duck, Green Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, Jay, Buzzard, Fieldfares in the horse paddocks along Green Lane and Mistle Thrush there too. Lesser Black-backed, Common, Herring and Black-headed Gulls on the lake.
White-rumped Sandpiper still on large Island until it flew off at 11:30. Water Rail ran across the causeway to the smaller lake. Little Egrets 15, Grey Heron 2, Pochard 3 on N lake. Teal 11, Gadwall 2. Apart from lots of Tufties where are all the ducks? Lots of Black-headed Gull, Common Gull 2, Herring Gull 6, Lesser Black-backed Gull 2. Lots of moving around by the gulls. Great Crested Grebe 8, Little Grebe 4. Grey Wagtail 1, Song Thrush 5, Magpie 6, Jay 1, Green Woodpecker 1 (Ray Gleason).