Yesterday, the 8th, I racked up two more year ticks with a couple more good duck species for this site. The first of these was two female Goldeneye. I had managed to miss a male from the first winter period that was present on a couple of dates, so it was good to get these back. Goldeneye is a species that probably occurs every year, but birds never seem to linger for some reason, so they tend to be one day birds.
Having spent some time ambling around the lake and trying to get some sort of recognisable record shot of the Goldeneye which had chosen an area about as far from any point on the bank as possible, I finally reached the east bank. I was then distracted by a vocal Water Rail and stood by one of the fishing swims to see if I could see it on the bank rather than just in flight. Casually looking out over the lake, I noticed a large black and white looking wildfowl species flying quite high over the lake. Assuming that it was most likely a Great Crested Grebe, which often fly around the lake here and look pretty odd, I got my bins on it and could clearly see it was a male Goosander. This is quite a scarce duck here and I average a record about every other year. In fact, this is my first male, with all my past records being red heads. I watched the bird half circle around the lake, but it didn't ever look likely to land. It then flew strongly east over the STW, before veering south, at which point it did appear to be dropping, but I lost it behind trees. It's possible that it landed on the adjacent Randle's lake, but that is inaccessible. I think if I had been anywhere other than on the east side, I would have missed it, so the birding gods were smiling on me.
I've tried the gull roost a couple of times over the past week. Birds are definitely building, but there hasn't been too much of note. The best was a 2nd winter Caspian Gull on the 6th, which was hard for me to photograph in the falling light.