Smew Visitor

February 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

Smew is a rare visitor to East Glamorgan, with perhaps just one or two records annually.  Over the last few days, a fine ‘redhead’ has taken up residence at Hendre Lake in Cardiff.

Males of course, are easily recognised with their white plumage and black mask and back.  Females and immature birds are often lumped together as ‘redheads’, with predominantly grey plumage, a chestnut head and white cheek.  In flight, it shows black and white wings.  It is the smallest of the three sawbills that regularly occur in the UK.

The species can sometimes be surprisingly difficult to pick out in the grey winter light over the pools, lakes or reservoirs they frequent.

Smew by Jeff Slocombe

Smew by Jeff Slocombe

Smew breeds in the northern taiga forests of Europe and Asia, using trees to nest, like their close relative, Goosander.

BirdTrack shows a sharp rise in reports over the last few weeks, no doubt a result of the recent cold snap, forcing birds overwintering in continental Europe to move across to the UK.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: surveys. Tags: , , .

BBS Training Day Spring is Here!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Archives

BTO on Twitter

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 37 other followers