Having retrieved my hat from the river after an unexpected gust, I set about checking the Wallbury area for Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. None, but plenty of great and blue tits, moorhens, wrens and a calling but hiding cetti's warbler. A kingfisher headed upstream, too fast for the camera and pied wagtails called from the house by the lockgates. Overhead, corvids and 2 high common buzzards.
On the river, 15+ mallards, drakes in full plumage and up to 6 little grebes. The latter overwinter on this stretch of the river. However, unusual for this part of the canalised river was a solitary coot. These are usually to be found further upstream beyond Twyford Locks.
A wander around the reserve gave views of several calling reed bunting, more wrens and tits but little else. The excellent tree clearing work was noted and, hopefully, the recently released water voles will benefit form new light levels that will encourage vegetation.
Back to the spotless car, not before noting 2 goldcrest in the trees near the railway line and pedestrian level crossing. A green woodpecker called as I returned to the car where I promptly got in with muddy footwear!
|humble mallard in good plumage|
|Bracket fungus, possibly Polyporus squamosus: Dryad's saddle|
Yesterday, I was booked to give a presentation on the Birds of the North Norfolk Coastal Footpath in Canterbury so I took the opportunity to pop into Oare Marsh Reserve. always a superb place.
Light was really poor, but amongst the solitary avocet and a pair of black tailed godwits were an amazing number of pintail, maybe 200 in all. a large flock of brent geese flew east down the Swale and over on the other side of the Thames, a large flock of golden plover took to the air.
Blck headed and herring gulls were about as were good numbers of lapwings, teal and a small flock of wigeon. Large numbers of greylags on both sides of the reserve, so well worth the 45 minutes spent there.
|pair of pintail|
|distant black tailed godwit in poor light|
|drake plumage in fine plumage|