Ducks continued their good autumn showing. The young Shelduck spent the entire month lounging around the southern end of No 3. Individual Wigeon remained from the September influx until the 17th with ten recorded on the 14th. The second Red-crested Pochard of the year was a smart drake on the 5th. News came through of the origin of another Tufted Duck with a nasal saddle found by CF at the end of September. The saddle does not seem to cause any problems as the drake is at least seven years old having been first caught at Saint-Philbert-de-Grand-Lieu near Nantes in western France in November 2013. With a peak count of 1197 Tufted Ducks in early October, it was not short of company...
A second French Tufted Duck choose the Wetlands for its moult pic @Chris_Farthing
The first Goldeneye of the autumn was a young female-type on the 17th which only stayed until the next day. Our regular birds had still not arrived by the end of the month. Common Scoter is not even annual at the reservoirs with blank years in five of the last ten so two separate records in one month is exceptional. The first were a pair seen by GJ on the 17th arriving from the north on Lockwood before departing south 20 minutes later while CF found a female on West Warwick two days later.
October was, as usual, a poor month for waders with just five species. They included four Lapwing on the 3rd and another on the 16th & 17th while the only Dunlin on the 18th narrowly escaped a hunting Peregrine. Small numbers of Snipe were seen while Common Sandpipers were recorded in ones or twos until the 10th. High water levels in the overflow channel again meant Green Sandpipers, too, were scarce with records only on the 3rd & 12th.