I've been a bit under the weather for a while and to make things worse i've also been under the awful weather. Today I got out for a couple of hours and saw some nice birds, but as usual it was nearly dark for most of the time so I didn't get any pictures. I looked through my older photos looking for something nice to brighten the post and found these Lake District Red Squirrels. Just the job I think. And since I saw some squirrels today it's nearly not cheating.
One of several Cetti's Warblers was singing in the car park as I left the car, there were more heard around the site and one was seen briefly in the sunken marsh. Also heard in the marsh were several squealing Water Rails, I waited patiently for a glimpse of one but as usual they eluded me.
I was pleased to see that the female Goosander was still on Streamside lake but still no sign of the Red-head Smew. There were two Green Woodpeckers on the east scrub as well as a calling Great Spot, also one Song Thrush seen but no Redwing or Fieldfares. There was a female Goldeneye on Abbey Mead, pointed out to me by Geoff Burton who I met in the Country Park and surprisingly there were also seven Wigeon on the lake, number 69 for the Feb New Hythe list. In the SE corner of Abbey Mead I saw a Sparrowhawk which narrowly missed a Blackbird lunch, the only other raptor being a fine Kestrel which flew over Brooklands lake later on. As I made my way to finish off on my bucket seat in the small wood by the river I noticed a bit of activity in the NW corner of the marsh, this turned out to be a Chiffchaff, a Goldcrest and two Long-tailed Tits who were busy fly catching over the standing water which has lain in the marsh for some time now. The chiffchaff bought me nicely to 70 species for the month at New Hythe which is where I expect it to stay now I think.From the bucket by the river I saw five Shelduck, a single Little Grebe, some Teal, much reduced numbers of Gadwall, two Redshanks and the usual Black-headed Gulls, who are very much starting to do what it says on their tin, i.e. having a black head, and very smart they look too.