It's been a hectic few work weeks for me, but with a gap in my diary yesterday morning I took the opportunity to take Dad to Axminster to see the lingering Whooper Swan (which is the same bird I had in Colyford in October), and then the Chard Reservoir female-type Smew.
The Whooper Swan was the only swan in the field yesterday (north of the B3261 where the river runs under the road), whereas when I saw it here a week ago it was one of about twelve! It was nice to see a Green Sandpiper as well, presumably displaced due to the high river levels.
|I could never tire of seeing winter swans!|
|Same bill pattern as the Colyford bird, plus slight copper staining on the top of its head|
Then it was time for the Smew at Chard Res - and wow what a bird! It started off distant but took flight and landed in a much closer corner of the Res, where it would sometimes loosely follow groups of Mallards around. The light was always a bit bright and we were often looking directly into it, but I couldn't believe how close it came! It's a real corker, and am surprised it's not proving more popular with photographers...
A brilliant bird. My first Smew for many years, and another cracking bird for the Chard area (always a bit gripping considering how close we are to Chard!).