A couple of interesting counts on what was a fairly standard walk this morning. A pair of Stonechats by West Mill Farmhouse in the field of some sort of brassica crops growing as was a flock of Linnets that flew over the same crop in a different part of the field. A flock of 40 Skylarks flew up from the field alongside the Mill Stream, nice to see. A pair of Bullfinches along the Mill Stream was nice.

Mike Russell, 28tb November 2023

On a stroll around Henfield I stood in the wood at the top of Windmill Lane to look for Treecreepers and Goldcrests.

I wasn’t successful in that endeavour but did see a flock of 7-8 Long-tailed Tits and a Chiffchaff.

Debbie Colgate, 28th November 2023

Yesterday, on a stroll round the village, a Reed Bunting was calling from the reedbed on the common.

Today we had a Grey and Pied Wagtail feeding side by side in the garden. It was easy to see how much longer the Grey’s tail is and also that it is a much slighter bird. We also watched a Wren bathing in the shallows of our pond – a lovely sight.

Debbie Colgate, 26th November 2023


I will never not appreciate how lucky we are that within a few minutes of leaving our front door we are looking across from Rye Farm at these beautiful trees glowing in the late afternoon winter sun. The floods have receded a bit but there is still plenty of water still around and the number of wildfowl is increasing. We tried to count the number of Canada Geese and Mallard and assessed them both to be over a 100. We didn’t count the Gadwall but there were quite a lot of them, less  Teal and Wigeon though and we saw 6 Pintail as well.
We also counted 72 Fieldfare in one tree and there lots of others around and so there numbers again were well over a 100 as well, but just a couple of Redwing were heard flying over. A Buzzard sat regally in a tree in the 45 minutes we spent down there, a time of absolute bliss.
Mike Russell, 26th November 2023

A Red-throated Diver was present on the river on 23rd, south of Betley Bridge. Also seen was a variety of geese: Canada, Greylag, Egyptian, Brent plus two White Storks.

Alan Burnage, 23rd November 2023

Just Angela and myself this morning, setting off in the rain along the Downslink. A couple of Song Thrushes were singing as we started, though most things were quiet as it was wet. At the five crossways we heard the only Goldcrest of the day, then the embankment produced some Long-tailed Tits. From the wooden gate we saw a few Canada Geese, a family of Mute Swans (3 juveniles) and a group of a dozen Teal. Otherwise, a lot of water but almost devoid of birds, bar these and a group of 5 Coots. We heard a Fieldfare chacking and just one flew across, though we found more later on. Two Cormorants were loafing around on one of the nearly submerged shooting blinds. Scanning from the field by the metal kissing gate we heard just one Lapwing, and saw 20 Wigeon, a lone Pintail and around 120 Black-headed Gulls with 10 Herring Gulls – all very distant. A flock of what initially looked like Goldfinches perched on a bare tree in the gloom turned out to be 16 Lesser Redpolls. Three Bullfinches were calling a bit further along the Downslink, and a Chaffinch called too. Nearer to Stretham were Canada and Greylag Geese in the fields to the east, and a flock of 30 or so Starlings to the west, and a Raven called.

Highlight of the day was when we heard a Kingfisher and Angela located it perched on a reed by the river. Awful photo, but you can see the colours! We heard a couple of Cetti’s Warblers to the west of the river, then in the bushes along the bank found plenty of activity from Stonechats, Yellowhammers and Goldfinches. It wasn’t until we got to New Inn that we finally managed to see a Grey Heron, on the edge of the floods to the north west.

44 species today I reckon, but no raptors at all. (Actually it was only 42!)


Val Bentley, 20th November 2023