Chilly south-westerlies and cloudy skies meant shorts were a bad idea. Between 7:00 and 8:30 this morning a total of 57 Meadow Pipits battled southwards in little groups, the maximum being 10. A Yellow Wagtail flew north over Rudd Pool and may have landed on the marsh. The riverside willows and poplars were dripping with roving flocks of tits and a few crests as well as about 20-30 Chiffchaffs. The huge flocks of hirundines continue along the river too, skimming and swirling round the trees. The numbers were made up of mainly House Martins with smaller numbers of Swallows and about a dozen Sand Martins in the mix early on. All this of course attracted a Hobby and they quickly scattered.
Out on the water, the duck numbers are slowly building up. 77 Gadwall and 53 Teal was nice to see though no Wigeon as yet and the Goosanders were absent today. Disappointingly not a single wader was to be seen, though I’m sure a few Snipe are lurking somewhere. The Kingfishers continue around B pools despite the grisly demise of their friend earlier in the week and it was good to see Little Grebes feeding chick(s) on Angling Pool this late in the year. Our crop field is coming along nicely (below), I can’t wait to see what takes advantage of this bird buffet.
Little Grebe 14, Cormorant 12, Little Egret 3, Grey Heron 4, Mute Swan 21, Canada Goose 101, Mallard 155, Gadwall 77, Shoveler 8, Teal 53, Tufted Duck 12, Water Rail 2, Moorhen 29, Coot 79, Black-headed Gull 13, Lesser Black-backed Gull 2, Kingfisher 2.