Smew (Mergellus albellus)

STATUS AT LONGHAM LAKES

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

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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