I squeezed a couple of much needed hours in at New Hythe lakes this morning. A chance to forget about plasterers, plumbers, electricians and heating engineers for a while!
In Brooklands car park a couple of Grey Wagtails got me off to a good start and Brooklands lake provided the usual array of Swans, Coots, Gt Crested Grebes and about a dozen or so Tufted Ducks, the first i've seen for a while on this lake and maybe the start of a seasonal build up of numbers.
With the tide falling rapidly I went straight to the small wood to check the river, where disappointingly, no waders were found. But two Kingfishers, one at either end of the visible stretch of river, made it worthwhile. As did the steady stream of assorted Hirundines who followed it southwards on the early stage of the epic journey to their winter retreat. I must confess to feeling a slight tinge of envy!
A walk around the sunken marsh is now possible due to the sterling efforts of a few people who spent some time hacking through the undergrowth and reclaiming the path, well done them. This is where I headed, stopping for a while to talk to Jerry and later Eddie, up on the mound. From where a flyover of Mistle Thrushes and a couple of distant Buzzards proved to be the only real highlights. Although earlier, Jerry had seen a Coal Tit fly through the marsh and away to the north, a very good bird for New Hythe. And so to the sunken marsh via the river path, where numerous Grey Herons fished patiently in the shallow margins as the Cormorants hunted in the deeper water. Just a solitary Lapwing along the muddy bank represented the waders. Inside the marsh itself a couple of Cetti's Warblers were beginning to find their voice again, along with Gt Spotted and Green Woodpecker, but not much else. Nearing the end of the path things improved with three Jays, two Little Egrets and two Hobby's all flying over in fairly quick succession.
Lastly, after being awol for the last couple of days I managed to find the long staying Spotted Flycatcher again. This bird was first found by Terry Laws nearly two weeks ago and today was only 50 yards away from where it was originally seen, it must like it at NH but it will move on soon no doubt.
It's such a super bird and one not often seen here so I think it warrants a couple more pics, especially as they are my first ever of this species and a first for my blog.
One more thing. For those of you who are followers of Ken Browne's excellent blog 'Focusing on Wildlife', don't worry, he's still with us, but temporarily without a hard drive (it happens to us all) and will be posting soon.