New year, old quality

Surf Scoter (with Tufted Ducks), Rutland

Surf Scoter (with Tufted Ducks), Rutland

One of my New Year rituals involves going round favourite sites to see how the wildlife changes from year to year. As if to underline how things change, today I saw three former rarities.

At Rutland Water, the Surf Scoter was still off the dam with Tufted Ducks. Inland records are exceptional, though I can remember two records from Cambridgeshire.

At Deeping Lakes, the highlights included male Red-crested Pochard (presumably from the local feral population) and five Long-eared Owls (the highest number I have seen together for many years).

At the Nene Washes and Eldernell, hundreds of Bewicks and Whooper Swans in mixed flocks were an impressive sight but the highlights were a Cattle Egret (associating with sheep) and three Cranes. Also of note were two groups of Roe Deer, which seem to be increasing.

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