This morning I met up with Steve Chastell who was leading a Surrey Bird Club walk at Stoke Water Meadows. With just two other members present plus two newcomers we headed to the Wey Navigation picking up Fieldfare, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Parakeets and Goldfinch in the trees nearby.
At the weir we scanned the water meadows and found plenty of Redwing feeding on the ground but no sign of any Water Pipits but did eventually locate one or two Meadow Pipits as they moved through the grass. Lots of Canada Geese, Teal and Wigeon way over on the field pools plus four species of Gulls (Black-headed, Common, Herring and Lesser Black-backed) with Mallard and Little Grebe on the river.
Mr and Mrs Mallard out for their morning paddle.
On the main lake we added Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Gadwall and a Grey Heron with a very large swollen left knee (undoubtedly some form of infection) but it didn't prevent it from flying away and Cormorant flying overhead. On the lower marsh were a few Northern Shoveler.
Mallard on the lookout post!
Returning back along the river there were brief views of Treecreepers before Steve encouraged two of us who were suitably shod to accompany him out onto the marsh in search of any inhabitants. Just a single Common Snipe flew up and jinked away from us.
Very little left of the old boardwalk which hopefully will be repaired sometime soon. (An ideal spot to scan for Reed Buntings and Sedge Warblers in the Spring).
A Wren made a brief appearance before disappearing into the undergrowth. We continued to check out all likely locations for Water Pipits and Water Rail but without any success. Also no signs of any Siskin or Redpolls but plenty of Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits plus Robin and Blackbird.
A pair of Sparrowhawks displayed very high overhead and a Kestrel flew past. Towards the end of our walk we rescanned the fields adding Stock Dove, Crow, Rook, Jackdaw and Jay having already claimed a few Magpies, Woodpigeons and Great-spotted Woodpecker (heard only).
At the iron bridge I said my farewells and strolled a little further to Bowyers Lock but didn't add anything else to the morning tally of 40 species. FAB.