No, I’m not blogging about a James Bond film, though our recent visitor to Cosmeston Lakes Country Park is almost as exotic, and certainly as handsome as any of the many James Bonds. This is a drake Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), a diving duck that’s a little smaller than a Mallard.
This drake was first picked up by our best local birder last Friday evening so I strode along to the lakes early Saturday morning and had distant views of it on the west lake. The Goldeneye appeared to have left Saturday afternoon, as another local birder couldn’t find it, but I was back at Cosmeston early Sunday, sitting quietly on a bench next to the east lake, when Mr Goldeneye popped out from the vegetation right in front of me and I was able to get these closer photos of him.
Though Goldeneye are known to spend their winters in small groups on reservoirs and inland lakes, and in sheltered coastal bays, they are not a common sight in my part of south Wales, so it has been a treat to have the chance to see this stunning bird.