It was always going to be difficult to top a quite sensational goal in the Manchester derby this lunchtime, but after a reality check in the form of book marking, I got underway with a thorough grilling of the patch.
Some action was afoot on the river, involving the usually grass-bound Greylag flock and smaller numbers of Wigeon and Teal. 2 Coot were further down-river, and a Great Crested Grebe was also seen.
The scrub at the start of the trail is proving particularly productive of late; Bullfinch, c15 Siskin, Long-tailed Tit and Greenfinch were all here. A scan across to Wood's End revealed the hunting Barn Owl and a large flock of c200 Fieldfare and a few Redwing. Further a long, I watched a dog Fox investigating holes along the river bank, methodically marking his territory. A sublime view of one of our mammals about his daily business.
A few ducks were out the front of the hide, A nice pair of Gadwall and 8 Teal were looking smart. Water Rails squealed, Reed Bunting sang and a Cettis called- finally, some sounds at Surlingham!
A Great Spotted Woodpecker 'chipped' from within the scrub, and expected year tick. Hoping for a Heron or Egret in the grazing meadow, I picked up another expected year tick, but an unexpected number and locality. 16 Meadow Pipit were in a bare tree, feeding on what I wasn't sure. I have had mipit flyover, but to stumble across this wintering flock like this is notable for the patch.
I headed to Claxton Marshes at dusk, fruitless, but on route just outside the village (before Rockland) was the Greylag flock in a newly ploughed field. I also counted 44 Egyptian Geese, and more Greylags arrived. In amongst them was a Pink-footed Goose. I need to examine the flock at Wood's End a little more closely if I want that year tick! The flock, numbering somewhere around 200, was still there once darkness had fallen as I drove back to the city.