A blog post covering two evenings. The first visit concentrated on the passerines along Brook Furlong Lane with the previous days report of a Yellow-browed Warbler a memory for just a couple of observers. I walked the length of the lane keen to pick up the Long-tailed Tit flock and it didn’t take me long to find them leap frogging each other through the hawthorn hedgerow. The usual contact calling ensued with both Great and Blue Tit dragged along with a couple of Goldcrest for good measure. A Great Spotted Woodpecker and Bullfinch were present with 6 Chiffchaff in the Sycamore and Ash trees by the ramp track to Alder Lane.
It always seems the highest tides are during the afternoons so work commitments govern the cream of the crop recently. This evenings tide wasn’t particularly high and I wasn’t expecting to see much on No.6 tank. The water level here is increasing so the wide areas of mud and dry ground have disappeared for the time being. I settled on the north banks looking slightly into the evening light at a group of 243 Shoveler, 167 Common Teal, 16 Pintail, 30 Wigeon, 109 Tufted Duck, a drake Common Pochard, 12 Common Shelduck (juveniles). 10 Gadwall and 24 Mallard. It was interesting to see the Wigeon back and the flooded daisy beds always attract them to settle here feeding of the seed heads along with the Teal.
A roost of 235 Black-tailed Godwit were mostly hunched together at the south side but a raptor flew over their heads and everything on the sludge tank rose into the air. This was a great opportunity to count both the ducks and the waders. I would have struggled to see what was hiding in the daisy beds until this happened but a flock of 43 Ruff emerged and after the commotion had settled they started to feed out in the open. Along with a single juvenile Golden Plover, 400 Lapwing, 6 Redshank and a variety of gulls.
A quiet evening but nice to get some good numbers of both duck and Ruff tonight.
Observer: WSM (and image)