Another dull, dank, dreary, draughty, dismal day! Only one thing to do when it's like that, go out and enjoy it. Which is what I did, I went to New Hythe..... and I enjoyed it.
Brooklands was quiet, apart from fishermen, I tried to find the water rail that lives in the NE corner of the lake alongside the mill but it didn't seem to be around today, can't say I blame it as the NE breeze was blowing the fumes from the mill straight into that corner and not to put too fine a point on it, it smelt bloody awful! No sign of the redhead smew either. On to the river, it was nearly low tide so maybe a wader or two, no chance, plenty of teal, LBB gull, cormorant, pheasant and green woodpecker plus a single canada goose standing disconsolately on the far bank which made me think of Billy No Mates (mind you I was by myself as well). One of the birds on my wish list today was wigeon, haven't had one this year and I knew Alan Woodcock had seen one a couple of days back on Abbey Meads so I was optimistic, but I have to say, I still haven't had one! A few people have been commenting about the numbers of bullfinch being seen, well I saw at least eight today and I heard a few more, mostly in the Abbey Mead/river area but also in the west scrub. I'm not sure if there are necessarily more of these super birds about, although I hope that is the case, or whether they are more vocal and visible at the moment, maybe due to ranging further afield in search of food and presenting more opportunities to hear and see them on the wing. I'd be interested to hear what others think the reason is. Also a lot of little grebes showing at the moment, I saw a minimum of seven today mainly on Abbey Mead and Railway lake.
East scrub was quite lively for a change, lots of redwings and fieldfares, although the redwings outnumbered the fieldfares by at least ten to one I think, mind you it was difficult to tell in the near darkness of midday. Lots of chaffinches here as well, I tried hard to find a brambling among them but no luck. Neither did I have any luck putting up a woodcock from the west scrub, only managing to flush a grumpy looking fox, maybe I woke it up from a nice kip, or maybe it too doesn't like this dull, dank, dreary etc. weather. The other bird which eluded me again today is pied wagtail, I haven't had one at NH yet this year, but I noted 38 species seen today which isn't too bad, I just had trouble with my W's..............Waders, Woodcocks Wigeon and Wagtail's.