But there was a good crowd there today for the area walk despite the weather! We heard Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Song Thrush and Goldcrest in song, and plenty of Great Tits calling/singing. On a gatepost were a pair of Stonechats. Most of the usual wildfowl were on the brooks, Wigeon (10 or so), Teal (about 40), Mallard, Shoveler (2) & Coot but in smallish numbers – riding the waves! Half a dozen Lapwing were hiding in the grass. A long way away a large white blob turned out to be a Shelduck, the first one I’ve seen here since 5th March last year. At the heronry one bird was standing guard over a nest and another couple were below, also one Little Egret. Despite the wind there was a Skylark singing away in the field to the east of the railway line – and more along the riverbank. A pair of Mute Swans on the river still had last year’s youngster with them.
There were fleeting glances of or snatches of song from other birds along the river, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting and Yellowhammer. Only Coots on the overflow pit, but in the fields by Wyckham Wood were plenty of Canada and Greylag Geese. Don’t remember seeing many there before. As we neared New Inn we noticed a Kestrel fly into the out branches of a tree. It was looking intently down from its perch, so we didn’t move any closer. It then flew down onto the ground – hope it found something edible! (VB et al)