I was greeted by the soft sounds of a Bullfinch calling as I opened my car door, followed by the contrasting raucousness of a distant Green Woodpecker. The car park was quite busy this morning, with Blue Tits, Long Tailed Tits, Robins, 2 Fieldfares, Carrion Crow, Wren and so on, sometimes the list of birds can be on 20 species without leaving the car park!
I made my way for a quick look at the lake, it was nice to find a Little Egret there the first at the lake for sometime, later Stephen had good views of the Water Rail at the top end of the lake. I went back out into the fields to walk along the stream and hedges, there were a few Redwings around and a Grey Heron flew over high followed closely by 2 Greylag Geese. Along the stream there was again lots of movement of birds mainly in the Alders, I didn't hear yesterdays LS Wood but I found 50 or so Siskins feeding with 1 Lesser Redpoll, Goldcrest and several Long Tailed Tits, I tried in vain to get some shots of Siskin, then looked at the time, I had just under 10 minutes to get to the car park, taking several steps forward and then sliding back in the more than a little soggy mud was hard work but I did get back in time, managing a couple of Yellowhammers a Skylark and Pied Wagtails on the way.
It is with great sadness I write that Ray Turley died whilst away in India, he was the most familiar face of Dungeness birding and although I didn't know him as well as lots of others, sitting in the sea-watching hide at Dunge with him and being with him on occasions such as the Shirley Moor 'Gyr' are things I won't forget, nor marvelling over his sculpture of a Blackburnian Warbler amongst others. His good nature, great knowledge and warmth will be greatly missed.