It had more of a feel of the last of winter than the first of spring but the male of a pair of Siskins was singing strongly by the fishermens carpark followed by a pair of Stock Doves, 2 Little Egrets, 6 Oystercatchers, Reed Bunting and Song Thrush. A single drake Shoveler circled in with 3 Mallard and then a perusal of a small group of Tufted Ducks revealed a 1w drake Goldeneye, not a common bird here at all. Then I accidently disturbed a flock of c35 Fieldfares from the treetops before walking back. Displaying Great Crested Grebes were a joy to watch as always
It was nice to see some of the common early wildflowers in bloom - Coltsfoot, Lesser Celandine, Ivy-leaved Speedwell, Groundsell, White Dead Nettle, Red Dead Nettle, Common Mouse-ear and Goat Willow.
I then did a walk along Watermill Lane down to the river and weir. A Little Grebe and Grey Heron were on the 'lillypad' pit and a nice male Grey Wagtail by the weir. 2 more Song Thrushes were singing and single Mistle Thrush flew over. When nearly back I heard the familiar song of a Blackcap that was really giving it some. It eventually gave some nice close views. Maybe spring is slowly creeping up on us!
Flashing back to yesterday - a singing Chiffchaff in the garden at home was the earliest site record by some way.
White Dead Nettle