Six proud walkers met yesterday morning for the area walk around The Levels. One of the first birds we heard was a Song Thrush tuning up, then a Goldcrest and Coal Tit were heard in the stretch just after the Cabin. We didn’t attempt the “limbo” path and fields which looked really difficult to navigate. However, we went into the fields lower down and had a good scan over the floods, finding Greylag Geese, plenty of Wigeon and Mallard, slightly fewer Teal and Shoveler, a pair of Pintail, a Grey Heron and the odd Coot and Moorhen. Slightly further south on the edge of the floods were about 220 Lapwing. We caught sight of 2 Snipe overhead and a Grey Wagtail. A few Redwing flew over and one perched in a nearby bush. There were 5 Cormorants in their roosting tree and a load more Greylags, with Canadas and 2 of the odd hybrids. Looking to the east, a lump on a distant pylon was, predictably, a Peregrine. A bit closer a Kestrel hovered over a field. Down by Stretham we had a great view of Fieldfares in a bare tree, with some Redwings, and three Greenfinches.

Heading up river, the overflow pit was quiet apart from two Mute Swans with a juvenile, though we also picked up Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Linnet and Reed Bunting nearby. We were lamenting the lack of Stonechats when we spotted one on a bush – it flew to another bush and was joined by a second, so there were a male female there. There was also a brief snatch of Cetti’s Warbler song. (VB et al)