With the iffy weather and a lack of exciting new stuff to go and photograph we decided to save a bit of petrol money and have another quiet weekend.
So yesterday morning I went down to Amwell for the usual social gathering and hopefully a few decent birds. It was a nice sunny start, though it gradually got colder and by mid day the sun was starting to go as well. The water is a lot higher than when I was last here-a combination of the higher sluice gate and recent heavy rain. As a result, there is not much left of the islands for loafing wildfowl and waders. The reeds have been cut in places leaving long channels which are now starting to get a bit wet and this has produced feeding opportunities for waders and smaller birds.
There were a lot of early thrush movements-mainly Fieldfare with a smaller amount of Redwing, but the first decent bird was a Chiffchaff seen in one of the willows. Some of us then went down to Hollycross Lake to see the Red Crested Pochard-only the one this time, but stopped off on the way at a clump of birches first. Did not take long for a couple of Redpolls to appear, along with a Siskin. The latter is still a regular winter sight, but the days of big Redpoll flocks in the Lea Valley are a thing of the past. We also enjoyed prolonged views of one of the resident Cetti's Warblers and a brief Redwing in the bushes.
Back at the viewpoint, gull numbers were building, but nothing unusual was picked up, a few Snipe were seen-no Jacks yet and in one of the reed-bed cuts a Water Rail fed along with a number of Reed Buntings.