I caught up with Alan Roman alongside the mound and as we turned left along the Northern edge of Abbey Mead lake I noticed a dark shape among the reeds at the waters edge, a quick look through my bins confirmed it as a Bittern, as you can see in the pictures below it was grasping a clump of reeds about halfway up the stems and pointing it's beak skywards in classic Bittern pose.
The river was the colour of strong tea and was running downstream fast although the tide should have been coming in, I think maybe this had something to do with the amount of floodwater the river was carrying. Not much to see here but as we stood in the warm sunshine this Swan paid us a visit, so naturally I had to take it's photograph, they are just so photogenic.
There were actually a pair of Mallards swimming on the East Scrub (flood) today, it's looking more like a wader scrape every day now. There was at least one, possibly two Kingfishers calling loudly in the corner of Streamside as we passed by but I was unable to see them, no sign of the Bittern there either but I suppose two in one day is a lot to ask for at New Hythe, although by no means out of the question.
I had to get back for an appointment so I left Alan and walked down the flooded Millstream to get back to the car park but just before I did I found a Chiffchaff in a small tree by the lakeside, not great views but that was the third Chiffchaff sighting I had heard about around the site that morning which was good to hear.
Just before the end of the Millstream there's an overhanging tree and the lower branches touch the water and catch all the twigs and rubbish that gets washed downstream, this has formed a sort of raft and on it was this little chap. First one i've seen for a long time! I couldn't decide which picture to use so I used them both. You can't have too many Water Voles can you?