The first bird of the day was a female blackcap feeding on the apple just to the right of the feeder in the picture above, that was a good start to a good day, although quantity of birds on the pits was much lower than last week.
These are some of the highlights:
Wing tagged marsh harrier (same bird as reported last week I think) over car park area. Redhead smew on the small lake on the right between Scott and Christmas hides. Single fieldfare on flooded grass opposite the lake. Protracted view of a bittern flying low roughly between Denge Marsh hide and Christmas hide, reed bunting and meadow pipit also in this area. Single black necked grebe seen from the track to the west of Denge Marsh also four ruddy duck. The best view i've ever had of a bittern, flying in and landing in the reeds about fifteen feet away from the front of us in Denge Marsh hide, we could see obstructed views of it moving in the reeds for a few minutes until it's cryptic plumage finally rendered it invisible. A cetti's warbler gave it's usual tantalising two second view from the small mound and a couple of bearded tit betrayed their presence with a short burst of pinging but didn't allow a sighting. Just past the return trail to the visitor centre a little egret flew over and a female stonechat perched on the brambles in it's usual obliging style, a small covey of red legged partridge completed the scene here.
There were two chiffchaff in the bare trees to the side of the Hanson hide searching restlessly for whatever tiny morsels they could find, seemingly oblivious to our presence, in contrast to the redwings in the area here which flew off noisily denying all but the most fleeting of glimpses. From the Hanson hide we had distant views of at least six goosander including two drakes, three female goldeneye a couple of shelduck and just before we left a redhead smew dropped in to end the show. We logged 56 species on the site today which I think doesn't really reflect the much reduced numbers of birds there today compared with last week.