Saturday, December 10, 2011
Saturday 10th December
After a cold night the morning was bright and cold with a covering of frost on the grass and some ice on the main lake. I could hear the Gadwall on the main lake before I got to it. There weren't as many as there have been in recent weeks and no sign of any Wigeon. Tufted Ducks and a few Pochard were also present. Down at the Finger lakes the west lake was iced over with just a small pocket of open water at the north end where some Gadwall were hiding. DK joined JA and myself along the Spit. There was no sign of the Little Grebes on the east lake but a Greylag and 14 Canada Geese were getting some grief from the resident Mute Swans. From the Crescent we watched a party of Goldfinch in the Alders but there were no Siskins or Redpoll with them.
DK continued his usual circuit while JA and myself headed along the Navigation Channel. At Kramer hide we had a couple of Shoveler and a Water Rail called. Up at the STW bridge there wasn't much happening on 100 Acre. We had a party of 30+ Goldfinch and a pair of Reed Buntings as well as the usual Geese, Swans and Gulls. On the way back across the bridge we spotted 4 Greenfinch in the Willows along the Cut.
Along the Woodland Walk we had at least one Treecreeper. In the Long Hedge, just before the entry into Fingers, we came across a flock of Long-tailed Tits and closer inspection turned up a Goldcrest. We cut around past the Sedgewick Seat and the Rough and at the Dead Seat we spied 3 Teal on west Fingers.
There was little else of note until we headed up the west side of the main lake where a Sparrowhawk dived into the hedge but came up empty, better luck next time.
In the afternoon I joined the volunteers at Mowsbury Hill Fort for a bit of scrub clearance. This site is one of many now managed by the Priory Rangers. Bullfinch and Redwing were seen/heard during the session.