Red-breasted Merganser at Caldecotte Lake

A few days ago an adult Red-breasted Merganser was reported from the nearby Caldecotte Lake in Milton Keynes. The bird were relocated by birders in the following days and I hoped I would find it as well.

In the first hour I was walking sll around the north lake in quite a gloomy but mild weather. In the ‘arms’ I saw a beautiful drake Common Merganser (Goosander) and it pretty much was the highlight. In the bushes quite a lot of European Robins called, and tits flocked mainly on the eastern side of the north lake.

As there was no sign of the Red-breasted Merganser, I headed to south lake. Sun came out and painted the lake and its surrounding golden. Again a nice Common Merganser, striking Common Pochards, Eurasian Wigeons coloured the Common Coot groups. At the south end birdwatching point a Water Rail called loudly. I checked every corner of the lake, but I didn’t see the rare merganser.

Driven by the sixth sense, I returned to west side of the north lake to give it another try. After passing the Caldecotte Arms pub the male Red-breasted Merganser was meters away from the walkway. It showed very well in beautiful lights. I had time to take a few record shot through the Zeiss binoculars with my iPhone. The outcome is definitely not jaw dropping, but enough for documenting.


Photo taken by an iPhone through my Zeiss binoculars handheld. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Records from Caldecotte Lake North/South, Milton Keynes from today

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 46/47
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) 19/11
Gadwall (Anas strepera) 2/4
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope) 5/18
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 9/6
Mallard (Domestic type) (Anas platyrhynchos) 53/67
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 2
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca) 0/4
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) 0/14
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) 7/24
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) 1/1
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 1/0
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 4
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) 25/12
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) 8/32
Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea) 3/4
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 2/1
Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus) 1
Eurasian Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) 24/15
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) 51/147
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) 78/115
Mew Gull (Larus canus) 3/6
Herring Gull (European) (Larus argentatus) 1/4
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus fuscus) 0/12
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus graellsii) 1/1
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) 0/1
Common Wood-Pigeon (Columba palumbus) 4/4
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) 2/1
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) 1/0
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) 0/1
Eurasian Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis) 0/1
Eurasian Magpie (Eurasian) (Pica pica [pica Group]) 16/10
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) 6/5
Great Tit (Parus major) 6/3
Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) 15/11
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) 14/31
Eurasian Wren (Eurasian) (Troglodytes troglodytes) 5/5
Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) 2/0
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) 21/28
Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula) 14/10
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) 2/0
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) 14/0
Dunnock (Prunella modularis) 8/14
Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) 2/0
Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) 2/0
Eurasian Bullfinch (Eurasian) (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) 1/0
European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris) 1/0
White Wagtail (British) (Motacilla alba yarrellii) 0/2
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) 9/4
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 8/0


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