|Redesmere, viewed from Northern end|
|Canada x Greylag goose|
The car park is adjacent to the southern end of the mere from where many visitors feed the large numbers of Mallard ducks and Black-headed gulls (the latter particularly in the wintertime). Many people are happy to stay and watch the birds from the parking area but it is also possible to walk around to the mere's Northern side, and there are plenty of interconnecting footpaths in the area.
The arrival of 'person with bread' is greeted with a cacophony of honks, quacks and squawks as the more confident and familiar birds jostle to get the offerings thrown their way, the gulls flying up to catch bread in mid-air. Mute Swans mix with Mallard and Tufted ducks, Greylag and Canada geese (and an individual that looks to be a Canada/Greylag cross), Coot and Moorhen, there are several birds which look like they could have escaped (or been released) from a nearby farm at some point - a flock (or perhaps gang would be more appropriate!) of large white geese, and Mallard hybrids, (considerably larger than a regular Mallard with interesting colour variations) of what sorts I can only guess (Cayuga perhaps?).
|One of the resident Mallard duck hybrids|
|Not so common... A Common Gull (adult winter plumage)|
|Flight formation... Goosanders (some distance away!)|
Nearby Rowan trees popular with one of our winter-visiting thrushes - Fieldfares, still had some berries but no birds present when I looked, though I was reassured when a flock flew over the mere that they were there after all, just not where I'd been looking for them. The familiar sound like an old-fashioned football rattle indicated that a Mistle thrush was present - heard but not seen this time.
As with any large area of open water inland, different, sometimes unexpected species turn up from time to time. A Snow Goose and Red-breasted Goose have been photographed there recently (most likely to be escapes from wildfowl collections). In spring 2013, a beautiful Mandarin pair were in residence for a while, a real joy to see so close.
Taken in March 2013, a male
Mandarin duck in full breeding finery|