Friday, 23 December 2011

Juvenile GREAT NORTHERN DIVER just over border into Essex


Another unseasonal mild day with temperatures reaching 12 degrees C - in stark contrast to Christmas 2010 when the whole of Britain was virtually icebound and covered in snow. It was also very wet with constant drizzle.....


Instigated by Graeme Smith's email, I travelled over to the Lea Valley this morning to see the juvenile GREAT NORTHERN DIVER that has been present there since 15 December. As Graeme stated, this bird is only just 100 yards into Essex and is showing reasonably well. The bird is favouring the middle pit in the complex, easily accessed from Meadgate Road from the east. One can park without problems by Broxbourne Sailing Club and follow the trail south to Kett's Footbridge at TQ 383 069, from where the best views can be obtained. The two pits join each other at this bridge and when Graeme saw the bird yesterday it was on the southernmost pit. Please see the maps above for more direct detail.

This same complex of pits also produced 3 GOOSANDER (adult drake and two adult females), 2 Common Goldeneye, 33 Tufted Duck, 13 Northern Pochard, 25 Great Crested Grebes and 74 Coot.


I met up with Alan Reynolds at the diver and then went over to ASHLEY FISHERY PIT at Turnford to check for Goosander. Sadly none was present (Alan had seen a drake there about 10 days ago) but we did count 1 Mute Swan (first-winter), 20 Gadwall, 43 Tufted Duck and 40 Coot, whilst a male Siskin and Great Spotted Woodpecker were recorded. Also of note were 36 roosting House Sparrows in the thick hedgerow backing on to the gardens west of the railway line and 12 Chaffinches in Turnford Brooks car park.

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