Mega Duck or Dodgy Duck. or (has anyone lost a hooded merganser?)

Just after getting home from Savernake I received a Grapevine text with news of a Female Hooded Merganser having been seen at Corsham Lake. Decision time, most likely to be an escape but a nice bird to see anyway. So it was a quick bite to eat and back in the car. A good journey saw me arriving in the car park in under forty minutes. I arrived at the same time as a couple of other local birders and together we headed for the lake. We could see someone already looking at the lake and as we got closer I saw that it was Jenny, another local. Joining her we soon found the bird and had a good view of it before it drifted down behind the reeds. A five minute walk to the other side of the water got us some great views of the bird as it slowly moved around. It was keeping to itself and although not obviously alarmed did move away as we approached. It spent some time diving and we saw it catch and eat at least one small fish. Escape or vagrant?  Maybe someone will see that it has a ring on its leg or maybe we will never know. There are plenty of articles regarding this subject on the net, some links here.                      http://cockoftherock.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/the-radipole-merganser.html                          http://uk400clubrarebirdalert.blogspot.co.uk/2009/06/dorset-hooded-merganser-record-rejected.                                                   html http://www.birdingetc.com/2012/03/lophodyte-tendency.html .                                     On the plus side are possibly the time of year it has arrived, its cautious behaviour and possibly the attraction of this particular lake for occasional appearances of Red-breasted Mergansers and Smew. However as mentioned in the above articles generally you will never know for sure so you will have to make up your own minds on whether to list it or not. Perhaps someone could catch it and take it down to Radipole to keep the long staying lonely ,male company. Also seen on the lake were five Goosanders, well down on the twenty or so that were here the other day. Another sign of genuine birds on the move. Anyway whatever the provenance of the bird it was well worth the journey to see it.

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2 responses to “Mega Duck or Dodgy Duck. or (has anyone lost a hooded merganser?)

  1. It was good to see you, Malcolm, and such a pretty bird, never mind where it came from! Jenny

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