Who are Smew?

John Wright

A very exciting visitor has been at Brockholes this week, a very rare duck, with a very interesting name.

A female Smew has been spotted on Meadowlake for the past few evenings.

Thanks to our eagle eyed ornithologist visitors, the Smew has been identified.  This is a very rare occurance for Brockholes and is attracting lots of visitors to the reserve.

What is a Smew?

Aside from potentially having the best name in all of wildlife, The smew is a small compact diving duck with a delicate bill. The male is white with a black mask and a black back, the female is grey with a reddish-brown head and white cheek. 

The smew has a UK Conservation Status of Amber, meaning they are marginally less critically endangered than those in the red group, and we therefore need to do all we can to help the species continue to breed. There are currently an estimated 180 smews in the UK, one being at Brockholes.

Where can I see the Smew?

The best place to spot the Smew at Brockholes is mid-to-late afternoon on Meadow Lake. 

 

What else has been seen this week?