Thursday, 4 December 2014

Ewell's watery grotto

Bourne Hall, Ewell - it's an area that I don't know particularly well, save for a twitch at the turn of the millennium (Ring-necked Duck) and feeding the ducks with my daughter's when they were tiny tots (feeding the ducks with bread, not my daughters...)

It's an area with a lot of birding potential. The River Hogsmill meanders through close by and there are plenty of ponds, streams, culverts and waterside vegetation for the wildlife to utilise. Kingfisher, Grey Wagtail and Little Egret are regular, plus historical records of Cetti's Warbler, Water Rail and Jack Snipe exist. Fortunately at least one local birder is a regular visitor to the area, and he will no doubt be rewarded in time with something special - I don't know if it was he who found the Ring-necked Duck, but that is the kind of bird that all patch-watchers wish for - rare and 'out of the blue'. The pond on which it turned up hardly entices much beyond Mallards and the odd Tufted Duck, so that nearctic wanderer was a big surprise. (By the way, I wasn't looking at the monitor when I typed that last sentence, and on re-reading it the predictive text had produced 'narcotic wanderer' instead of 'nearctic wanderer' - maybe it knows something we don't?

One of the side waterbodies, home to Kingfishers, Grey Wagtails, Little Egrets and who knows what else...

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