A few days ago a friend kindly alerted me to the presence of visiting 'sawbills' on the River Mole around Leatherhead but once again the waited DHL delivery didn't arrive until well after midday. Despite the worsening light and in view of more snow forecasted for today (and it duly arrived overnight) I decided yesterday afternoon to get the car out and go on a hunting trip.
From a very icy car park on the outskirts of the town I made my way very gingerly down onto the riverside path just in time to catch a glimpse of my quarry disappearing fairly rapidly downstream!
A male Goosander (Mergus merganser)
Knowing that I could not keep up with my fleeing quarry I slowly strolled downstream passing a pair of Mute Swans, Black-headed Gulls, Moorhens and a few Mallards. It was fairly quiet apart from a scolding Wren and the occassional 'squawking' Parakeets high overhead, twittering Goldfinches hunting amoungst the Alders and then in one of the nearby gardens I spied a few Redwings and Blackbirds busily leaf turning for a late afternoon snack. Robin and Blue Tits were also seeking out an existence through the pathside shrubs.
Under one of the bridges I watched four Little Grebes constantly diving and disappearing from view.
Moving on downstream I disturbed a Water Rail who promtly dashed across the water and, you guessed, disappeared from view. Looking ahead, the horses were quietly going about their own business and I questioned whether I should continue or retrace my steps. The temperature was falling, light fading so I turned around and 15 minutes later I caught up with two female Goosanders actively diving near one of the town bridges. Here is the best of a few poor shots....I'll go back as soon as the roads are clear and safe.
On the return journey a Grey Heron patiently waiting and watching.
A Song Thrush gave me a severe stare.
Vacant room to let....anyone interested?
Nutkin scampers away with tonights snack.
Cormarant standing sentry duty.
The misty view from The Vinery (disused).
Time to ring Anita to get the kettle on...I'm coming home. FAB