Smew (Mergellus albellus)


Rare visitor, mainly in winter. In recent years it has become more regular and is now one of the star birds of Longham. All records given.

1. 1 male on Longham Reservoir North on January 31st 2004 (Dorset Bird Report). Possibly an escape.
2. Astonishingly, 1 female turned up on Longham Reservoir South on 19th-20th May 2010 (Chris Parnell).
3. A remarkable series of records began with 1 on 1st December 2010, then 2 on 8th December, 4 on 31st December (Trevor Thorpe), 3 on 9th January (Terry Elborn), 4 on 17th January, 5 on 15th January (Brett Spencer) and up to 6 on 9th February (Paul Winter). 1 still present on February 25th and last recorded on 11th March (Paul Morton). All redheads.

Smew (Chris Parnell)

Smew, Longham Lakes, early 2011 (Chris Parnell)

4. 1 redhead returned on 24th December 2011 (George Green, Chris Parnell) to Longham Reservoir South, still present on 31st December. Seen again on 2nd January 2012, then it was joined by a male from 4th until 7th. 5 females were seen on 14th January, then just 1 until 8th February, when it was joined by 2 other redheads, with 4 again on 12th (WEBS). 2 on 23rd February.


Smew, Longham Lakes, 2011 (photographer unknown)

5. 1st of the winter appeared on 21st December 2012 (LB), a female, again on 24th December (GG/LB).
6. 1 redhead on 26th January 2013, then 2 on 27th January-6th February, with 1 on 9th February, 23rd-24th February and 1 from 1st-27th March on and off.
7. 1 (redhead) on 1st February 2014 (Chris Parnell, George Green)

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