WEDNESDAY 8 DECEMBER
Another very cold day, with an increasingly fresh easterly wind. Still much of an air frost in the vegetation and large bodies of water still iced over. Other than Smew though, very little moving through......
ALDENHAM COUNTRY PARK (HERTS)
Largely iced over but the remaining open water totally crammed full of wildfowl. The highlight was of course the SMEWS - 3 of them in total - an adult drake and two adult females. There were also 2 female GOOSANDERS moving about together.
Also counted were 2 Little Grebes, 5 Great Crested Grebes, 11 Mute Swans (8 first-years), 72 Mallard, 14 MANDARIN DUCKS (7 drakes), 92 Gadwall, 22 Eurasian Wigeon, 18 Tufted Duck and 389 Coot; also 1 Ring-necked Parakeet in vicinity.
COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT (BUCKS)
The marsh was largely frozen but the main lake was ice-free, with more duck present than I have seen at the location all year. Dave Bilcock had seen a female SMEW earlier but I failed to relocate it. The roll-call was as follows -:
12 Mute Swans (2 first-years), 70 Mallard, 22 Gadwall, a remarkable 332 Eurasian Wigeon, 22 Tufted Duck, 95 Northern Pochard and 2 Common Goldeneye (1 drake). There were also a fair few Redwing around.
WILSTONE RESERVOIR, TRING (HERTS)
Again, drew a blank on DB's earlier redhead SMEW and apart from that, very little change from yesterday, with a major increase in Wigeon (300+) and Common Teal (127). The undoubted highlight was the presence of a single COMMON SHELDUCK, standing on ice just off the jetty.