17 January 2016

A Sunday morning date with a redhead


A rather cold Sunday morning saw us in Onuma................


I'd heard there was a female Ring Necked Duck there yesterday but the pkace where it had been seen was frozen solid (there were some Falcated Duck out on the ice but too far away for a photo).

I thought it might be on a small ice free pond but it wasn't. There was a female Smew at least............


A hot spring must feed into the pond and in the morning photography was impossible due to the steam. As the sun shone through the steam disappeared. I spent a couple of hours watching her going about her business snacking on small fish..............



It wasn't exactly tame but it was a lot less shy than this species usually is.............






A few winters ago there were a pair of Smew all winter on this pond. Hopefully a male will join her soon..............

Mallards kept ruining shots.....................


Not much else around the pond, a Grey Heron, Great Egret and a few Jay and that's about it.

Smew are fairly common here. I've only ever seen one in the UK, also a female. On Rivington Reservoir in January 1987....................





I hope I can connect with the Ring Necked Duck. Some other interesting birds have been appearing. The person who gave me the info (thanks Osamu) also saw Snow and Pine Buntings, unfortunately nasty weather is forecast tomorrow. I hope they stick around for a bit.

6 comments:

  1. Those are terrific shots of the smew. It must have wonderful to watch her being so active and relatively close.

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  2. Great shots, Stu. I sometimes see stew in Niigata but I can never get close enough. I've tried to avoid it for a long time but I may have to invest in a 500 f4. You are always on the mark since you've had yours.

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    Replies
    1. Go on Russell, buy it. You know you want to................

      Seriously though they cost a lot of money and are pretty heavy to carry around but are worth it when you see the photos...........

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