Waking this morning and finding a grey wet morning I have to say didn't inspire me that it would be a good day for our walk at Upton Park and the northern shore of Holes Bay, but now that I've returned after the walk I can say how wrong those thoughts were.
|Jay planting an acorn © Nick Hull
We started from the car park by the main gate walking the cycle path to the north west shore and we started with the common woodland birds Robin, Wren, Great, Blue and Coal Tits. We also had a som tantalising views of a few thrushes which I was sure were Redwing flying out the back of the tree-line. As we exited the trees the first birds seen were a pair of Bullfinch, then three Jay were busy planting acorns so still expecting winter to come, eventually we had five of each. In the alder a few metres away from the bullies a small flock of Siskin worked their way through the hanging seed heads and a couple of Goldcrest entertained us. On the field were Mistle and Song Thrush and a scattering of Redwing.
|male Siskin © Nick Hull
Stood by the stone bench viewing the north western bay which was packed with waterfowl with good numbers of Teal and Wigeon and lesser numbers of Gadwall, Pintail, Shelduck, Redshank, Avocet, Oystercatcher and Black-tailed Godwit. There were a pair of distant Mute Swan, and three Little Grebe under the bridge.
|Gadwall - Holes Bay © Nick Hull
Walking the path to the north east part of the bay we had a a very large feeding flock of Canada Geese some two hundred were grazing in the field. As we arrived to look over the northeast section the tide was just started to turn and it enabled us to scan much of the wildfowl at fairly close range. Here we had a repeat of many of the species already seen but in greater numbers. We scanned all the Wigeon and Teal to see if there was an american equivalent amongst them but no such luck and no Smew. Checking the PC World drain we added a couple of distant Chiffchaff, Moorhen and Sarah picked up a single Grey Wagtail. Along the edge of the railway embankment we had Grey heron and several Little Egret and two Goldeneye were spotted under the bridge. It was just as we were taking our last look around at the last of the birds, the tide was almost in and they were flying off to the high tide roosts. We had a blue streak of a Kingfisher fly by that Liz then spotted the redhead Smew paddling between the gaps of the railway bridge and we all had a brief view before it was hidden from sight again, a very suitable bird to finish on.
|Little Egret NE Holes Bay © Nick Hull