Sunday, 24 August 2014

Eccleston Mere

Spotted flycatcher 2
Goosander 1 imm (male?)
Willow tit 1
Kingfisher 1
Buzzard 2
Chiffchaff 1 singing
Coot 130
Mute swan 6 (adult & 5 cygnets)

At last the sleepy mere awakes from its slumbers and realises that summer is almost over.

The spotted flycatchers were in the dead wood at the southern end of the mere and were right on schedule, I could almost set my watch by them! They're almost annual in August / September in this very woodland, and I watched them flycatching for 30 minutes or so. They seemed to be uncomfortably associating with Chaffinches and Goldfinches, some of which were also flycatching in their own cumbersome way.

The goosander on the otherhand was completely unprecedented. All of my previous 48 records of Goosander at the mere have been in winter, between the middle of October and the end of April. This is my first summer record, and it didn't stay long. I watched it fly in harassed by gulls. It landed for about 30 seconds before taking off again, still with it's entourage of gulls and disappeared to the south west. I don't know why the gulls had such a downer on it, I've never seen goosanders treated like this before.

The predictability and uncertainty of birding summed up in 20 minutes at the mere!


  1. Hi Colin. Has that goosander goy something wrong with its bill or is just the way the pics taken?

  2. I think it's ok, but it's not a great picture. It might look odd because it's an immature with pale stripes on its face.

    1. Looking more closely its the effect of the water behind the bird that had me. Good luck with your quest for 300 for 2014.