Birds at the Lido : December 2015

All the birds you see at the Lido are essentially wild – that is they are not pinioned and are free flying.  Even the Mute Swans come and go as they please, although they may not travel far – they know a good home when they find one.

At this time of year some of the most plentiful birds are the Black-headed Gulls (they have now mostly lost their black breeding plumage black heads with only a spot remaining behind their eyes). Presumably most are British birds but some of these gulls at the Lido have travelled long distances. Some of the gulls carry rings on their legs which have been recorded for a number of years, and with some interesting findings.  Since the beginning of October there have been birds from Poland, Holland, and also a Danish bird which was seen on 3 dates last year.  Even more remarkable is a Black-headed Gull from Norway. First seen here in December 2012, it has been back every year since.

Black-headed Gull at the Lido. Bird on the left with leg rings.


Black-headed Gull at the Lido. Bird on the left with leg rings.

Several different species of duck come to the Lido at this time of year.  Mallard (‘The Wild Duck’ of Chekhov) and Tufted Ducks (black and white drakes) are usually present but species fluctuate surprisingly quickly, showing a lot of coming and going.  These include Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, and at the beginning of November there were 33 Pochard and 20 Shoveler.  
The large black, rather evil looking birds on the raft often hanging out their wings (to dry) are Cormorants.  At one time Cormorants only bred on the coast and were quite unusual inland.  Now they have been nesting in the Colne Valley (and other places) for several years (much to the consternation of fishermen).

Little Egret at the north-end of the Lido J.Edwards


Little Egret at the north-end of the Lido J.Edwards

A spectacular bird, the snowy white Little Egret, which only a few years ago was a rare visitor to Britain and never seen at the Lido is now often seen at the far end of the Lido.  They leave every evening to roost on the trees on the islands on the old gravel pits in the Colne Valley.  Numbers have been continuing to increase, with up to 33 being recently recorded but now the record stands at 37 Egrets at the Lido.

Little Egret at the north-end of the Lido J.Edwards


Little Egrets on the willow scrub at the north end of the Lido.      J.Edwards

Coots are here in large numbers during the winter. They are the large black birds with white beaks and foreheads, as opposed to the smaller, and less numerous, Moorhens with white tails and red beaks and foreheads. Coots do a lot of diving (as well as squabbling).
 Other birds seen recently are Snipe (right in front of the pub) and a Kingfisher.  So keep your eyes open.
Colin Bowlt- 26/11/15

Page Last Updated on: 18/06/2023
By Anand Punja

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