Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A Chartwell Surprise !

After a successful search and meeting with a potential dog minder for some future holidays, we found ourselves in Westerham, Kent. and not far from the historic home of Winston Churchill at Chartwell.

Our dog was looking tense, A leisurely walk around the grounds of Chartwell, taking in the ornamental lakes and woodland trails would soon alleviate his tension we felt.

Not sure he's entirely relaxed about the new arrangements, we were happy, he was apprehensive. I'm sure he can sense a looming separation on the horizon.

 But back to the real world, as we approached the lakes I could see some waterfowl on the water,  a small flock of noisy Greylags, an aggressive Black Swan not happy with the Greylags presence, a couple of Moorhen, a pair of Tufted Ducks and some white domestic ducks.

The quick perusal  did not look promising, but what was I expecting on an ornamental lake in the grounds of a country house.

 Certainly not the fine looking drake Goosander swimming purposely along the far edge of the lake. it did not look like a captive bird, very wary of my presence, keeping plenty of distance between us.

Now I do not see that many Sawbills, the occasional Red Breasted Mergansers on the Swale, a scarce winter sighting of a Smew or Goosander at Dungeness. So this was an unexpected treat on a relatively small inland lake.

The Goosander swam up and down the lake, occasionally diving and appeared to be feeding well. and looked in good condition. Here's a few photographs of the Sawbill looking down into the water before diving and feeding.

Goosander with small fish. (see below)

Goosander showing that slender hooked bill

Drake Goosander 

Maybe this was just a feeding stop-over, it wasn't long before it flew down the length of the lake, fittingly over the statue of Winston and his wife, disappearing over the treetops.

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