I had a bit of time this morning before taking my parents to lunch to celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary, three cheers for them! So I thought i'd drive up to Teston Country Park and have a walk along the river to Wateringbury. The bridge by the way is Mediaeval, is made of Kentish Ragstone and dates from around the 12th or 13th century I believe.
Mud glorious mud! I presume the river burst it's banks fairly recently as there is a lot of standing water and mud adjacent to it. I met a fisherman further along who was fishing for pike, he told me that he caught a 28 pounder here at the back end of last year, that's some pike and some set of teeth, believe me (the pike's, not the fisherman's).
Anyway, birds, not many i'm afraid. I was hoping for some redpolls and expecting some bullfinches but unfortunately neither showed up. A flock of long tailed tits were moving through some alders early on and a tiny bird that was with them flew out across the river, I think it was a goldcrest. The usual winter thrushes were foraging in the grass and the bushes further upstream but not much else was here, probably due to the disturbance being caused by workmen building a raised wooden boardwalk over the worst of the muddy footpath , very nice it looked too. There were five canada geese feeding in the margins on the far bank , a kestrel hunted in the fields by the railway line and a great spotted woodpecker flew into a tree close by. I love the way that they land on the trunk in an upright position and stick to it solidly, makes me think they've got velcro on their feet. I was accompanied most of the way upstream and downstream by great tits "teachering" constantly. When they first started this I thought great, I really like to hear that but then it made me think of Joe Pasquale singing "I know a song that'll get on your nerves, get on your nerves, get on your nerves"..................etc. etc! I enjoyed it really and I enjoyed the walk even though I didn't see much. Next time i'll try Teston to Barming.