On the 5th February 2017…
From time to time, Leazes Park in the centre of Newcastle is visited by a member of the Sawbill family; a Goosander. I love Goosanders and I always make an effort to watch them, if I know they are around.
I easily find them in our County; in Hexham, Killingworth Lake and at Amble and Holy Island; especially in the winter. Last month a Goosander was also reported in Jesmond Dene and last year in Richard Dees Park in Wallsend.
Like Grey Herons, they do not often visit Leazes Park much. I have recorded them there regularly most winters, coming for a visit. Usually I only note one, but today there were three; one male and two females.
The whole time I was there all three birds kept together and they seemed to particularly enjoy the areas to the right of the lake, beyond the wooden barrier.
Nearby Mallards were busy fighting over females and Mute Swans were chasing off other males, with their mighty displays.
Redwings were out and about in small groups, whilst Greenfinches and Chaffinches could be heard calling. No Song Thrush today.
Over twenty Tufted Duck were on the lake with Mallards and half a dozen Coot. Plenty Gulls around, which are always worth checking through. Time for another Laughing or Ring-billed Gull maybe… wishful thinking… but I have a feeling this majestic park in the city centre, will reveal another rarity over the coming years. Fingers crossed!