The weather men got it wrong. There was another deep low through Scotland yesterday, giving us a very windy night. This was supposed to continue today so I did not plan to go out. Woke up to find bright sunshine, mild and still.
Yesterday I heard a Coal Tit outside-as mentioned before they are not regular here as the nearest expanse of conifers are some way away. Today I spotted one coming down to the feeder and after a bit of a wait managed to get a single image. The regular Goldfinches were a bit easier.
Drove down to Amwell in bright sunshine to find a large crowd-the residents, the Sunday crew and a few others such as Richard Pople. The drake Pintail had to be pointed out to me-it was sleeping under the trees on the island. The Smew was also in the same area though later on returned to it's usual spot at the bottom of the pit.
Not long after the various groups started their circuits, John Bartlett arrived so we had a bit of a chat. The Water Rail put in an appearance again and I managed to get a few shots-had the D3S 300mm and 1.7x converter this time. The Bittern also showed quite well in one of the newly cut bays near the White Hide. Did not try any shots as it was too far away-though I did post an attempt earlier this year.
Eventually John and I walked down to the Hollycross feeders where everyone else had gathered. Encountered a few Siskins, tits and a Treecreeper on the way.
Not much happening on the feeders while we were there-a few Chaffinch, Goldfinch, one Coal Tit and the Great Spotted Woodpecker (Jay was using a 7D on his Swarowski 95 and got some good shots of it). One or two Redwings here still.
The weather started to go a bit around 1030 with the breeze picking up a bit and the earlier sunshine now a memory so we went back to the watchpoint. Not much else to see-Jay had a Ring Necked Parakeet briefly so after a while I decided to leave, discovering on getting close to home that it was raining in Stevenage.