A cold start and there were Fieldfares calling as soon as I got out of the car. I found a group of 15 birds halfway along the walking trail but they were pretty skittish and were soon gone, ‘shacking’ as they went. Fieldfare seem to be hugely outnumbering Redwing this winter. There was very little activity on the sea. The familiar flock of 11 Turnstones were picking through the high tide line and three Oystercatchers were stood at the water’s edge.
There were good numbers of duck on B Water with eight Tufted Duck newly arrived, 60 Shoveler, 40 Gadwall and six Pintail. On the scrape from DL’O 18 Shelduck was the highest count I’ve had. I got back to the car to find an obliging Fieldfare calling in the bushes around the shore hide.
On the drive out to the point I noticed a large flock of waders, obviously displaced by high tide, they had settled on the shingle bank opposite the cottages. They were mainly Grey Plover and Dunlin, perhaps 80 of each and there were at least 5 Knot amongst them.
I spent a few hours watching from the sailing club house. Highlight of the day was a very close juvenile Red-throated Diver which showed well 100 yards out before drifting further up the river.
A large group of 130 Greylag were gathered along the northern shoreline and five previously hidden Spoonbill took off from the same area. A family of two adult and five juvenile Brent Geese were stood in front of the sailing club. It’s amazing to think that this family has stayed together all the way from northern Russia.
The female Red-breasted Merganser which has been fishing in the mouth of the river was still present and a couple of Sandwich Terns were diving regularly before returning to rest on several buoys. Six Skylarks were creeping in the short grass at the edge of the marsh and 14 Linnets were also coming down to the ground to look for seeds. Several obliging Rock Pipits showed off nicely.