Tom and myself took a jaunt south into Area 9 (socially distanced, of course), hoping to get a good look at the large number of birds on the floods by Rye Farm. Arriving at the wooden gate it didn’t disappoint, with hundreds of wildfowl etc in front of us….. and then the shooting began. Within minutes the floods were deserted and that was that. We did manage to see Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler and Pintail, and Canada and Greylag Geese before they went up, but exact counts were impossible.

Cutting our losses we headed south and a Peregrine dashing over the Downslink was a bit of compensation. Along the Mill Stream were 2 Snipe and a Buzzard perched on a fence. The rain kicked in at this point, and heading back via Broardmere Common there wasn’t a great deal to be seen, but the conversation and banter made up for it. So despite the shooting and weather (where did the snow go?) a very enjoyable walk was had by the pair of us.