Thursday, 25 March 2010

Goosander Display

Lichen after the rains.

25th Mar. Some warm and fine weather eventually arrived late afternoon so I wandered down to the smaller lake. I watched as one male and three female Goosanders left the shore and took to the water looking far more active and alive than they do during the winter. They looked in great condition and very alert. The females lifting and stretching their wings often and taking time to dampen and care for their plumage. The male seemed well in control of this little party and was soon displaying in typical fashion, with bill pointing and neck stretched high into the air. I think these birds will be off to the breeding area at any time.

In contrast to the very alert Goosanders the two pairs of Great Crested Grebe seemed far more laid back, with one dozing, head under wing, whilst another dived for food on the smaller lake. The other pair was, as last year, on the larger lake. Let’s hope that breeding success is as good as last year when five young were successfully raised.

I didn’t walk around the larger lake choosing rather to walk to behind the village hoping to hear the Chiffchaffs. In the event I didn’t hear any song from them. The fields were a quagmire and the church grounds impassable in places because of pools of water. The earlier rain had helped the lichen take on colour and on some trees they made very attractive patterns.


  1. Hello Brian,
    Having witnessed the early rearing of the Greayt Crested Grebes last year and having read your posting i will be making regular visits to both lakes over the coming weeks. I was out with my pal Jeff birding/ walking in Harwood this morning through to early afternoon in very this mist unfortunately and curtailed things there a little due to the poor visibility. Called in at Bolam for an hour for a birdy fix then headed home down the A19. Dropped Jeff off in Cramlington and decided as it was trying to improve would have another hour or two at Killy possibly. But on the way down the mist started decending again and thought shi,,,,, bother, off home. No sooner had i passed the exit for Killy than it immediately starting improving again. Anyway had the hour at the Rising Sun but i wanted to call past Killy to see what the G.C.Grebe situation was. Champion, i would have enjoyed the Goosanders mind.
    I will keep you informed as to any developments.

  2. Hi John
    The mist was beginning to appear when I was at the lake, but fortunately the sun shone on me. It came down earlier tonight, but has almost disappeared again. I'm hoping for a little action from the G C Grebes on 17th April as I'm leading a walk in Killingworth that day.
    I'm likely to bump into you one day John.
    Cheers. Brian