Sunday 15th February
Glad to get out late afternoon today as I didn't think I would get a chance this weekend. On my way back from a trip out with the children I took a drive down Lunsford Lane and again had good views of the male Brambling.
I was out proper from 3.3o until around 5.15. The light wasn't great and there was drizzle in the air - hence no photos. I parked at the Water Works entrance just off the A228 and wandered first through the West and then East scrub I was hoping to flush a Woodcock as I seem to be the only person who watches here regularly who hasn't seen one this winter. No sign. A few Fieldfare clacked as they passed over and a small party of Siskin called as the headed towards the Alders on the East scrub.
Best sighting of the day was a Water Shrew. A mammal tick for the year for me. I was turning over bits of old wood hoping for a Toad or something and it shot out towards me and then doubled back and disappeared down a hole.
Over towards Abbey Mead there wasn't much to report, good numbers of common duck however on the pit. I then walked along the Medway path. The water here was really high. The heronery is started to build up and a Little Egret was on the bank underneath. A few Bullfinch and Redwing were also seen along this stretch.
Walking on through the sunken marsh I flushed a Pheasant (my 70th species of the year) and heard a Reed Bunting but not much else. I then did a circuit of Brooklands but didn't add much apart from the impressive roost of Goldfinch near the fisherman's building. I then headed back along the path between Abbey Mead and the railway line. I scanned back across the pit and added two Shelduck to my year list.
I waited by the Bittern spot at the end of the Millstream Pit until it was almost dark but no sign. A Sparrowhawk flapped and glided across and a few Goldcrest called close by. A Cettis called the only one I heard during my visit....I am still yet to get a view of one this year to add to my list.