Despite its somewhat dubious origins I thought I'd go and check out a locally reported Smew - especially as it's only a short walk from where I live in Woodford Green.
The location of the small lake itself is somewhat odd, being beside the main Woodford high road on one side and surrounded by houses on the other, and screams ornamental - especially as there were a pair of plastic pink Flamingo's on the edge of the water - Chilean I think! But sure enough there was the reported bird in the middle of lake, and having clocked me it soon made a hasty retreat to the other side of the lake - maybe it is truly wild??
It's hard to fully prove the birds origins but I suspect this is the same bird which I'd previously seen during the winter of 2013/14 at Connaught Water (a site which has long been associated with fence-jumping wildfowl). I also presume this is also the same bird which has frequented one or two other North London locations in the last couple of years - namely Alexandra Park and Grovelands Park, but whatever the birds origins a smart red-head Smew just a short walk from where you live is always worth the effort, even if that effort was minimal.