Sun, colour and Goosanders

I've waded to hides more this autumn than in the previous three whole years put together. On this occasion at Pennington about a week or so ago I had the hide to myself and was pleased to find a load of one of my favourite wildfowl

They've been slowly turning up for a while but this was the first decent sighting of male Goosanders this winter: a flock of about 8m and 4f, unusually close to the hide.

Typically, this was the scene after two minutes as they deserted me

I was left with 1 dozing male.

Then another dropped in ... and another ,,, and we were quickly back to 4m +1f

I don't know why they like this one pool in particular, as they never fish in this water, but they always congregate here every winter

Everyone was being quite active, zooming around 

milling about

or just making themselves pretty

I reckon this one was breaking the 5mph speed limit judging from the bow wave he's producing

Believe it or not there are actually two male Goosander in this shot, one chasing the other ... you can just about see the white breast of the chaser through the splashes but only if you know it's there in the first place

Birds are enthusiastic bathers in general, but I think no one goes at it with quite the gusto of waterbirds 

And when one starts it's infectious and everyone starts upending themselves

All I had to do was wait for them to drift into the best light and bright colourful reflections

How pretty am I?

A thoroughly enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours (since then, numbers have continued to climb and I hear there are now 40+ on site in total).

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Nige   Flickr