Saturday 2 December 2017

Slowly disappearing F-Nord Lake

Just over a week ago I returned to F-Nord lake. As I had suspected, it continues to be drained. The level is now about 60 cms lower than it used to be. It appears the authorities want to drain it completely. This is a sad loss of the best birding site in the city.

I am not going there very often any more as I feel too much upset.

Ironically, there is short period when the reeds are growing more fulsome and the muddy areas which have appeared are attracting more waders. In the end though it will be gone.

It wasn't difficult to see the local African swamphen around the reeds.

African swamphen

Eurasian coot are still breeding her too.

Eurasian coot

There is no doubt the numbers of little grebe are down. Of all the local breeders this is the one that requires the deepest waters.

little grebe

The fourth of the local breeders is common moorhen. Their numbers seem little affected yet.

black-headed gull and northern shoveller

Gulls are attracted here all winter but ducks much more so in early winter i.e November and December. It has been best to arrive early in the morning before the ducks are fully awake. They disperse out of the lake as the morning progresses. I can't say with any certainty where they go.

Northern Shoveller, common teal and pintail were the vast majority of ducks there last week.

pintail (foreground)

The teal in particular disappear from F-Nord Lake. I am seeing plenty at the waste water site. I suppose it is feasible that the birds are commuting between the two places.


It was unusual to see five immature greater flamingo at the lake.

greater flamingo

Most gulls were black-headed gull. A few Mediterranean gull can also be present and there were three this time.

black-headed gull

The most common wader for much of the year has been wood sandpiper followed by little stint. There are always others. This time they included at least two dunlin.


Black-tailed godwit was also present. As a very general rule, black-tailed godwit shows a preference for fresher water sites around here and bar-tailed godwit more saline.

black-tailed godwit

The lower water levels are suiting common snipe at the moment.

common snipe

I saw my last European turtle dove of the autumn migration at the lake though you only need to go 150 kilometres south of the city to seeing fully wintering birds.
European turtle dove

Last winter, a black-necked grebe stayed all through. This one found a small patch of deeper water last week. I can guarentee it won't stay as long as last year's bird.

black-necked grebe

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