SATURDAY 22 DECEMBER
Well the World may not have ended but the rain certainly fell - and fell and fell, leaving serious flooding in my area, especially on Nightingales Lane. Elsewhere, the heavy rain that fell all day plunged the West Country into Red Alert with 4 floods potentially life-threatening and 317 overall; rail services were suspended west of Taunton and hundreds of main roads were closed due to the deep water.
The rain bought much milder temperatures though - up to 12 degrees C.
In the CHESS VALLEY, the GREAT WHITE EGRET was showing well, ranging out of the river and out onto the adjacent Mill Farm Water Meadows, where it seemed to be feeding on small mammals and amphibians. Once again, view from either the Chenies Bottom bridge or from the bend just east of Chenies Place. All 9 Little Egrets were again in the Valley.
At CHESHAM FISHING LAKES, the adult drake GOOSANDER was again on the smaller of the two lakes, but flew off after being spooked by a noisy family; there were also 2 adult Mute Swans, the Canada Goose, an adult drake Northern Pochard, 12 Tufted Duck, 14 Coot, COMMON KINGFISHER and 1 SISKIN. A noisy congregation of 80 Jackdaws were also in the area.
At CHESHAM SEWAGE WORKS nearby, 32 Mallard, 8 Gadwall, 17 Tufted Duck and 4 Coot were present, but of most concern was the absence of any House Sparrows at Ivy House Farm - a traditional site of some 30 years standing.
LATIMER PARK held 62 Rook, 5 Goldcrest and a TAWNY OWL, with just 17 Tufted Duck on GREAT WATER