Bird News from Dominic Le Croissette, Mike Friel, and Jason P Loghry
The highlight of a rather good period of birding in an area not far from Junam was the discovery of a superb drake Baers Pochard associating with a flock of about 120 Common Pochard on one of the lakes. Originally found by a visiting birder, Andrew Keaveney on February 21st, this bird was still present until March 6th at least.
Another surprise was the immature Stellers Sea Eagle that passed over the reservoir, attracting the attention of one of the local White-tailed Eagles, before flying away high to the southwest. Other raptors seen on these dates included 3 Northern Goshawks (including a juvenile bird perched in a tree close to the main walkway around Junam), a male Merlin, and 2 Cinereous Vultures on two dates. Geese and swans were well represented with the highlight being up to 5 Lesser White-fronted Geese associating with the various flocks of Greater White-fronts in the area.
Meanwhile, last winter’s hybrid Tundra/Whistling Swan made a reappearance. It was associating with a single Tundra Swan, my first personal record of this scarce species at Junam this winter. A good find on 26th was a flock of 200 Rooks wheeling distantly over the rice fields to the north of the main reservoir. Careful searching revealed a single black-and-white Daurian Jackdaw among them. This is the first time I have seen either species at Junam.
A Hoopoe and an early Spotted Redshank provided an early taste of spring in this generally sunny and mild period of weather. Less exciting but still noteworthy for Junam were 2 Common Shelduck, a high count of 6 Common Goldeneye, and 50 Northern Lapwing, all on 22nd.
Baer’s Pochard Aythya baeri. Photo © Mike Friel.
Lesser White-fronted Geese Anser erythropus with Greater White-fronted Geese Anser albifrons. Photo © Mike Friel.