18th Jan. Spurred on by John’s ( Sedgedunumwarbler ) recent post about a return to normal on the ponds, and to loosen up for more intensive birding tomorrow, I took a look at Killingworth Lake today. It was pleasing to the eye to see no ice, a lake thriving in birds, common ones but no matter, and the sun reflected upon the water. The later point a bit misleading as it was still damn cold with a coating of thin ice on patches of the fields I crossed.
It was good to see a lone male Goosander on the smaller lake along with Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Coot and Moorhen. Gulls in the main were Black Headed and Common Gull.
When I crossed to the larger lake I quickly found four more male Goosanders with a lone female and there was at least two female and one male Goldeneye nearby. The lake was covered in Canada Geese and I suspect my recent estimate of eighty birds was some what under played. The numbers of Mute Swans definitely seem to be higher than in recent times and amongst the Canada Geese resting on the edge of the lake were two Greylag Geese. Most of the Pochard were on the larger lake and in the main taking a nap. The lake was more active with birds today thasn I have seen it for a long time. I took a look at the gulls but saw nothing out of the ordinary, but it wasn’t really a long look.:-) Along with those already mentioned were Herring Gull and a couple of young Great Black Back. I think Tom ( AughtonBirder ) and I will be having a session or two with gulls in the near future. We need to get our eyes in. I want to be ready when a Slaty-backed Gull arrives on patch :-)