Bonus Mandarin

One of the pleasures of undertaking a local study, especially one in which there is a hint of competition involved, is that an observation that would ordinarily not mean that much can be elevated to the status of noteworthy. One bird this morning illustrated this very well indeed.

I had need to go into Epsom, and from where the car was parked involved a walk through Rosebery Park - right on the very edge of my arbitrary recording area. There is a pond, and half of the water was ice free. Among the Mallards and Canada Geese was a splendid drake Mandarin. I have seen this species here before, and can only assume that the odd one flies in from the ponds on Epsom Common (which is outside of my 2015 recording area). This is not a species that I could have safely predicted for this years study - a nice little bonus. I'm not being greedy, but I am now eager for something a little more exciting - a fly-over Short-eared Owl for example?

Evening update: a late afternoon visit to SWT's Priest Hill reserve produced a female Stonechat. Only a ten minute stroll from my front door and the 63rd species in this years challenge...


Glasgow Birder said…
Ticking along nicely, Steve.
Steve Gale said…
Yes, a good start Dean - I reckon Stewart will come on strong in the autumn though!

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