Monday, 30 November 2015

Should Have Gone to Rainham!

Amwell Nature Reserve - 25th November 15

Weather: Overcast early on, brightening up later. Strong breeze.

Bird Total: 47
Plus: Muntjac; Rabbit.

It was either Amwell or Rainham Marsh today. However, there were more problems with the trains again, so Amwell won out. Even then, I arrived about 15 minutes late. The weather forecast also ran into trouble. The East was touted for clear weather. In the event, it remained cloudy and overcast nearly all day, only brightening up later in the afternoon. It also seemed to be a little colder than Monday.

So, all was not sweetness and light. But then, November never is. I must try and book an overseas holiday next November.

Today wasn't as good, or as dramatic, as Monday. However, I was out and about again, which was better than being cooped up indoors. The bird numbers were down and they seemed very inactive today. Nothing much to see from the train, on the way down or on the walk up the Canal path.
There were a couple of familiar faces again, at the Watchpoint. Their bored faces immediately told me that 'not much was about'. Apart from the usual crowd, I saw a couple of Great Crested Grebes; a pair of Grey Herons; lots of Wigeon; 70+ Lapwing, which were going up, at the drop of a hat; a large party of Siskin, which flew in to the trees behind us and then I heard a Bearded Tit calling out, from the same place we saw last time. Unfortunately, this time, she didn't show herself.

I headed down to the Gladwin Hide, to look for Goldeneye. There were two Drakes this time, but no females. One of the Drakes swam past the Hide, allowing another poor shot. The light was still terrible. Other than the Goldeneyes, I saw a few more Great Crested Grebes; a Little Egret, way out to the left and a couple more Grey Herons. Just before I left I spotted an Egyptian Goose, way out to the right.

When I exited the Hide, I spooked a Great Spotted Woodpecker, which flew off when it saw me. I paid a quick visit to the Watchpoint, then I decided to take a walk through the Woodland. However, it was very quiet and, other than Tits and Finches, nothing else was about. Nothing, other than Coot and Gull, out on the Bittern Pool and I soon found myself in the James Hide.

Where I found Katie Kingfisher and her mum, Mary aka MrsWaterVole. Both were in good form. It was quiet outside here, as well. A Kingfisher made a few brief appearances. The feeders were nearly empty, but were still attracting customers. Later, on my own, an Egyptian Goose flew past, right to left. Then a Muntjac appeared, crossing the newly-cut channel. A Kestrel could be seen hovering over Easneye Wood.

They're back!
I started to freeze my wotsits off, so I decided to head around to the White Hide. There was nothing extra to be seen from here and so I walked down to the Dragonfly Trail entrance. The feeders here were also nearly empty, but strangely again, there were no customers. On the walk back, I spotted several Redwing and Fieldfare. Another Kingfisher flashed past, as I walked past the Twin Lagoons.

Walking past the entrance to the Hides, I spooked firstly, another Muntjac, then a pair of Jays. There was no one at the Watchpoint, when I returned. It was starting to darken and it was starting to get really cold in the wind. Consequently, I decided to call it a day and head off.

A quieter day and maybe I should have paid a visit to Rainham Marshes, but at least I managed to avoid the Government's Spending Review by Boy George today. Small mercies.

'This is the best Government that Hedge Funds could buy!' Peter Hitchens