Friday 26th January
A visit between 3.30 and 5.30pm today. A few short sharp showers but generally bright.
I parked at the Water Works entrance as usual. Nothing of note on the scrape so I headed straight for Abbey Mead as I wanted to try again for the Firecrest that has been showing best late afternoon. I scanned Abbey Mead as I crossed the railway, 12 Shelduck was a good record for New Hythe. I then walked up the Medway and added Stock Dove (a flock of 5) to my year list, also two Redshank calling as they flew down river. A couple of Bullfinch called but remained hidden.
I arrievd at the north end of Abbey Mead at around 4pm and sat down and waited. A Common Sandpiper called as it flew overhead from the Medway and over Abbey Mead. Another year tick for me here. At around 4.20 several Goldcrests called as they crossed the path in front of me. I then heard a more strident call and Jerry Warne who had just arrived confirmed it was Firecrest. The bird shot across the path and into thick cover - giving several more calls. I don't think I can count it on my list yet though as I didn't really get enough on it as it crossed the path.
Heading back around Brooklands Lake at about 4.55 a Bittern was sitting in the reeds close to the Fisherman's building. Back along the Millstream a Water Rail called. So without counting the Firecrest that is 65 for the year so far.