Today I met up with Tony and we decided to have a mooch around the gravel pits at Grimley to see if anything of interest was about.
First port of call was Holt Sling Pool. There was extensive flooding of the field next to the pool but unfortunately most of it was frozen. Although on the area of free water there were 9 Wigeon present and on the adjacent field c.50 Lapwing were also noted.
The first thing that struck us on arrival at Camp Lane Pits was how high the water level now was. The causeway wasn't far off becoming submerged, with the one at the south end having been submerged for many weeks now.
At the north end there was a good mix of wildfowl present with highlights being a single ♀ Goldeneye and 6 Shelduck. Other species noted included Gadwall, Pochard, Shoveller and Tufted Duck.
The only waders noted were 6 Common Snipe that were feeding on the eastern shoreline. 16 Cormorants were also present.
A cracking looking Brown Hare showed well for us as we watched it bounding along a track across the nearby field.
On the way back we checked out a few areas around the patch, with the first stop being at Witch Lane. It was full of bird life here and whilst on the lower stretch we noted 8 Lapwing that flew over heading South and 9 Cormorant that flew over heading NW. In the large tree next to the pull in a flock of 11 Long-tailed Tits were also noted.
In the large recently sown field along the lane there were huge numbers of finches present with a flock of c.250 Linnets and c.80 Chaffinch noted. A Kestrel and a Common Buzzard were also present.
Heath Lane was the only area we had any winter thrushes with c.60 Fieldfare and 6 Redwing in the large field opposite the Islamic School. C.80 Starling were also present.
Our final stop off was Stanklyn Lane where there was a large Bunting flock in the beat field. In total we counted 60 Corn Buntings and 8 Yellowhammers all perched up in the large trees to the right of the field. This was the largest count of Corn Buntings on the patch this winter so it was worth stopping off.
Tufted Ducks - Grimley, 30th November 2012