Langorse Lake

20th January 2019

This morning’s birding was another check of the picturesque Langorse Lake. After an early start at 7:50 we arrived at the church car-park. Unfortunately (yet again), the weather was overcast, a thin blanket of rain covered the lake and unhelpfully a thick layer of mist made viewing conditions difficult. Most of the lake was barely visible, however similarly to yesterday’s views, close to the viewing point a few small groups of goldeneyes were courting. The goldeneyes were slightly closer than yesterday so the views of them were excellent. I counted the elegant ducks and came to 18 in this part of the lake. The adjacent field allowed a thorough scan of the waterfowl and gulls, which came to 20 goldeneyes, a few goosanders as well as the regular waterfowl.

I carried on to the nearby bird hide, opened the wooden flaps and instantly the unmistakable explosion of song from a cetti’s warbler erupted in the reed-bed. This elusive warbler is relatively common; however, it is very difficult to view. They are very shy and will happily produce deafening songs from deep within a reed-bed. This cetti’s was no different, after around 20 minutes of waiting it finally flew out of the reeds and perched low down on a small sapling. The warbler is chestnut brown on its back and frequently displays a light grey front and face. The cetti’s warbler has a long tail that is usually obvious if a good view of the bird is given. The fog was slowly clearing allowing for more thorough search for the male scaup wintering on this lake. To the left of the hide there was a large group of tufted ducks. The male diving ducks are mostly jet black, they have a large white patch that covers most of their side and a small tuft that gives this duck its name. The scaup is confusingly like the male tufted duck, the only noticeable difference is that the scaup has a grey speckled back that leaks into the slate grey primary feathers. The large group of tufted ducks were reasonably close to the hide so eventually I spotted the scaup. For a few minutes this scaup swam slowly along the edge of the reedbed, before disappearing behind the thick foliage. Recently I have been lucky with scaup sightings, as on the previous weekend, birding at moor green lakes also produced a juvenile.

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