One such place is Amwell NR, a reclaimed set of gravel pits that sit at the northern end of the Lee Valley, not far from Ware.
|Nut-freezingly cold Amwell|
The drake is easy to see as his brilliant white plumage with fine black lines is like no other bird I know. He was distant but slowly swimming in my direction. By the time I was ready with my camera/scope concoction, he had decided to thwart me and was now swimming off at a tangent...I shoulsd have realised this would happen as it always does.
So, I decide to stalk the smew. I anticipated his next direction and scrambled around the lake to intercept him. The sly old duck was now paddling in a dark and sheltered area of the lake with many overhanging branches from the lakeside trees. (I used a word for him that I’m sure he would have never heard before and not one I wish to use in this blog but I said it and there’s that.
I had to be patient and as the smew started to move again, I knew there was a chance he might retrace his ....wake? I had him now. Even though my fingers felt like giant frozen sausages, I was able to refocus the scopes focus wheel and held my breath.
|Yep, Drake Smew|
|Drake Smew and Redhead|