At a site I visit frequently in Chelford, there is a female Smew that overwinters, and has done for the last few years now. Not a common bird here, so it's nice to be able to see it fairly regularly. I don't see it on every visit as it is quite a large body of water and there are many places it likes to visit where it can be hidden from view. Excitement grew just after the new year, when a male and another female both turned up. I have never seen the male in a wild setting, only at the Wildfowl and Wetland sites where they are captively bred. So to see a male just 20 minutes down the road was a big thing.
It's such a smart looking bird and such a contrast to the female. The male is mostly white with a black mask around the eyes, while the female is pretty grey looking with a red head. I think it is my favourite duck, along with the Pintail, so to be able to see one was pretty exciting. Can you tell how excited I was?😄 The only downside was that the light was once again poor and grey, with the threat of rain, so I didn't manage anything other than record shots that are pretty grainy, but still a great record of my first male Smew all the same. Being able to watch through the scope was more than good enough for me.