Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sunday 3rd February

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.


At 11:01 pm, Blogger Tony Morris said...

I'm not sure if Stoats are a problem for Water Voles, but have you got any Mink there? they are real killers. I like the Smew pictures, hope you get a drake as well if we get a cold snap.

At 4:59 pm, Blogger Kate said...

Stoats would kill water voles, but they're native so prey and predator should balance out. Mink are aliens and you're right, Tony, they cause massive damage. I'm sure Steve knows to report any mink he sees asap.

At 6:36 pm, Blogger Steve said...

Hi both - so far i have been lucky. in 10 years with New Hythe as my patch I have only seen a Mink once - and that was 5+ years ago. I would report it straight away if I saw one again


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