Wednesday, 15 February 2017
Smew at Minsmere
On Sunday 12th february, an initial look at the pools just west of the old car park from the mound failed to spot any Smew, a trudge around the Scrape revealed a Great White Egret standing in the north west corner of the pool behind the West (Wildlife lookout) hide. It was very obvious with its white plumage and long dagger yellow bill. Very little seen on the scrape apart from around a dozen Black- tailed Godwit and a similar number of Dunlin. A chance encounter with a birder I know, he stated he'd just seen the Smew. On the walk back, a female Stonechat seen near the north wall. Back at the mound overlooking the 2 pools the far west did indeed show first a redhead Smew in the far left corner and then the male with its typical white plumage "cracked" black lines on its body and black round the eye, as always a stunning bird. Both birds were slightly obscured by reeds in the foreground. The male was diving frequently but did eventually swim out towards the middle joining the female. Then a Great White Egret flew into the nearer pool and fished for a while in the right hand corner at one stage with a Little Egret and nearby Grey Heron giving a nice comparison of these Heron/ Egret species. It then flew east towards the north scrape.