TUESDAY 24 JANUARY
What a day. Rain, rain and even more rain. It started shortly after first light and then became very heavy for two hours or more before turning into drizzle - and then continuing on and off for the rest of the day. Visibility was often awful - down to 75 yards on occasions - and keeping optics clear was a major obstacle to overcome.
Anyway, I risked the conditions and spent the day trying to find some target birds, namely the long-staying Great White Egret, Pintail, Willow Tit, Red-crested Pochard and a few other species. I was half successful.....
CHESHAM ROAD, HYDE LANE (BUCKS)
Following up on some sightings by Don Stone and Dave Cleal of last week whilst I was away, I was particularly pleased, despite the attrocious weather conditions, to find the wintering flock of plovers east of Little Hundridge Lane (in SP 92 01). The birds are commuting between the large ploughed field immediately east of the lane and the grass fields west of Hundridge Manor and are in numbers not recorded in my area since at least 1987. The LAPWING flock numbers 112 birds whilst the EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVERS (in two distinct groups) total an astonishing 658 birds. This is an exceptional record, with both species being particularly scarce in my Recording Area. Full marks to Don for locating them.
Two Common Buzzards and 2 Red Kites were also present in the area.