Smew on the Eastern menu
I had the fortune to photo a Smew when I visited Lake Hornborga last weekend. That got me going so to speak and I wanted to capture better pictures of this lovely bird.
This was something I thought would take time, but it turned out to be easier than I thought as I discovered reports of a male Smew staying north of Gothenburg. So when Maria told me we needed to go to Nossebro to prune some trees at her father’s place, then I decided we should take the northern route to see if we could find the Smew.
We found the place without any problems as it was situated in the centre of a small town. We parked the car and walked in the direction of the two ponds I knew to be there. At the bigger pond I could only see a couple of Mallard Ducks and when I got nearer the small pond I saw the back of a photographer giving me hope of finding the Smew there. I quickly surveyed the pond from a distance. More Mallards, a male Common Goldeneye and Goosander pair, but no Smew.
I spoke with the photographer who told me the Smew only had made a short appearance for five minutes chasing another male Smew. He also told me it seemed like the Smew had a keen love interest in a female Common Goldeneye.
We stayed for a short period on Saturday even if the Smew didn’t appear as I couldn’t miss the great opportunity with the Goosander, a bigger cousin of the Smew. The male was in breeding plumage and I have never been able to get this close to one before. They put up a good show of preening and flapping their wings.
The near miss didn’t put me off because now I knew where to find the Smew and I also had a better idea of what I could do there. That meant I had to make another try today.
When we got there today we directly headed to the smaller pond. It was already three photographers there, but they weren’t active and I soon realized why because all the birds where on the opposite side of the pond. I noticed a smaller white and black bird on the ground and when I checked with the camera I could confirm that it was a male Smew.
That meant we stayed for a longer period to give me the needed time to work with the Smew. I saw how protective it was of the female Common Goldeneye and that makes me believe it actually might stay in the area for some time. I got some decent photos, still much better than the ones from Lake Hornborga, but it was hard light and it would be great to go back when the trees make the pond green from the reflected foliage.
I hope you will enjoy the photo album of the Smew and the other birds in the small pond.