Go back even 5 years and people used to regularly cone to Rickmansworth to visit Stockers Lake to see the over-wintering smew. These are small diving dicks, the female's called redheads for their distinctive cap and the very smart males referred to a white nuns. Recently though they have been absent or at best fleeting visitors. So, when I was sitting the car outside M&S waiting for Judith and I saw that a pair were on Stockers Lake I took the chance. It's only a 5 minute drive to the car park which was packed, not with twitchers but happy families still enjoying the Xmas scooters!!
I quite quickly found another birder who pointed me in the right direction. The bird though, a very smart male, was tucked up asleep under some vegetation on the far bank.
These 3 photos are increasing crops and even with my 500mm lens the bird was never bigger than the focus point!! A real shame as they are very smart birds and great if you can get them close. Never mind though at least it's here and perhaps it (I never saw the second reported bird) will stay. May even encourage some goosanders to drop in as well, which as absent for the second year in a row as well.
Not much else on the lake apart from the usual ducks.
They do look smart though in their breeding plumage.