Two visits today, first between 9 and 10.30 and then again 4.15 to 5.15.
This morning it was bright with a stiff breeze. I parked at the Water Works entrance, 5 Goldfinch were tinkling in the trees as I walked in and a 4 Cormorant loafed on the scrape. I checked the Millstream/Streamside pit. 10 Shoveler and some noisy Herring Gull were seen, I then picked up a Red Head Smew, probably the same one that was on the Motorway pit recently. It seemed to be associating with a small group of Tufted Duck.
Red Head Smew
As I walked past the ditch by the divers car park something caught my eye, i thought it was the usual Water Vole but it moved too quickly. I paused and had excellent views of a Stoat...lets hope the Water Vole wasn't on his breakfast menu. I walked on towards Abbey Mead, past two smart looking Little Grebe on the railway pit.
Around Abbey Mead, a few Bullfinch called but it was fairly quiet. The river was at high tide so I didn't check take a detour to check the banks. I walked around to the inlet by Brooklands Lake and had good views of a Water Rail swimming across from one patch of reeds to another...i was too slow to grab my camera. A mixed Gull flock of 100 or so birds were on Brooklands - mainly Black Headed and Common.
Back down the Millstream I managed some distant pics of the RH Smew and saw at least one Kingfisher. I had my only Cettis of the day as I left.
Later in the day I visited again and had good views of the Bittern flapping in front of the reeds at about 5.10pm, also one Water Rail flew across to the reeds and a Chiffchaff called close by. The Smew was also still present.