Friday 5 January 2024

Bosherston Lakes - Aythya ducks


We had not been over to Bosherston Lakes for several weeks, and had not seen the Aythya ducks, so today seemed like as good a time as any to visit the area to see them.   

All 7 were still present in the upper Eastern Arm and were generally quite confiding - 3 Tufted (2 adult males), 3 Scaup (one young male) and the young male Lesser Scaup. 

All 7 - from the left: 3 Tufted, 3 Scaup and the Lesser Scaup

Three Aythya species - Lesser Scaup lower left

Young male Scaup (left) and young male Lesser Scaup (right) 

It was also nice to see a feeding flock of 14 Little Grebes at the top of the Eastern Arm (a usual location for them at this time of year). We could only see 6 Goosanders (2 males), but perhaps others were present lower down the lake system. There were at least 25 Coot at the top of the Eastern Arm (a typical max winter population here now). It is hard to believe that 200-400 used to regularly overwinter here plus large numbers of Pochard some years ago. Despite the presence of Coot we were surprised not to see any Gadwall that usually associate with them here. 

Perhaps we should have headed down to Castlemartin Corse too. The Pallid Harrier photographed by Rob Lewis is amazing, well done! We were fortunate to see the spring 2013 Skomer bird (first for Wales) and were pleased to see one or two in Estonia last autumn. Hopefully this one will stick around for a while!