Today I paid my first visit of 2021 to Wollaton Park. As usual on and around the lake there were water birds a plenty including a couple of herring gulls in addition to the ducks, geese and black headed gulls. However I was pleased to spot several groups of goosanders which are diving ducks. The hooked beak is serrated for holding on to its slippery fish prey. They are notoriously shy so it is difficult to get a close up view but I did manage some reasonable photos.
This is a male. The head is almost black but in the right light it has a greenish sheen similar to a male mallard but less bright. You can see by the bow wave they are very powerful swimmers and this one can’t wait to get as far from me as possible.
A fellow birder drew my attention to a couple of ducks roosting close to the lake’s island. I was pleased to identify them for her as female goosanders. In this view the sturdy legs explain why they are such powerful swimmers.
This crow allowed me to get quite close. It might have been asleep judging by its eye but it soon stirred into action when I threw down a handful of sunflower hearts. Unlike the line from Dylan Thomas’ ‘Under Milk Wood’ ( ….. sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea) this fine specimen has a distinct blue tone.
I have now visited my three local birding spots since recovering from depression and IT FEELS GREAT! I make no apologies for bombarding my followers and friends with birdpics at every opportunity because I have a whole year’s worth of birding to catch up on! If the weather is clear then expect another posting! I also post pictures on Twitter @beestonbirdman if you are a twitterer.