This `Redhead` Smew was found yesterday by Josh Jones on Deeping High Bank in Lincolnshire and despite seeing the bird for myself I got less than brilliant views as it flew off into the sunset. This morning the bird was again present, mixing with Goosander, Mallard and Tufted ducks, in fact the river was frozen and the areas of open water were full of wild fowl of all sorts.
The photos below are pretty rubbish, with one being digiscoped and the other being taken `point and shoot` style with the zoom on Canon A640 at maximum, but hopefully give you an idea of the bird!
|`Point and shoot` image|
The Smew is part of a group of ducks known as sawbills, along with Goosander and Red-breasted Merganser, but is a lot smaller than both its cousins being only a little larger than a Teal. The `Redhead` is the female or juvenile while the male Smew is a stunning bird known as `The white nun` and is arguably the most attractive of ducks. They breed in northern and eastern Siberia and are scarce migrants to our shores in the winter. It is thought that only about 100 of these birds are present in Britain and Ireland overwinter.
A welcome tick on my PBC year list which has now reached the century mark.