My first stop was at Sling Pool (Holt). On arriving to view the site I was immediately struck by how much water there was present with much of the adjacent field flooded.
Sling Pool flood - 2nd February 2014
Despite the flooding though, this was to be the most productive visited. On the grassy islands amongst the flood water there was an incredible 443 Lapwing present. These were not the only waders there as a Curlew and a Dunlin were also noted.
The area also held a good mix of wildfowl with 7 Wigeon, 12 Shoveler, a pair of Pochard and 8 Tufted Duck of note. Also present on the floods were c.120 Coot, 1 Little Grebe and 4 Mute Swans. In the adjacent field a flock of c.400 Starling were busy feeding.
Lapwing - Sling Pool
Next stop was the Activity Lake at Top Barn. I scanned the lake but there wasn't much of note here but for 14 Tufted Duck and a shed load more Coot! Then as I had finished scanning I noticed a Peregrine flying reasonably low towards me. It looked absolutely stunning in the afternoon sunlight. Great birds, I never tire of seeing Peregrines....the day I do is the day I need to hang up my binoculars!
From Top Barn I checked out the area around the Island Pool at Grimley Old workings. There was nothing of note on the pool but nearby a flock of 40 Chaffinch and 6 Greenfinch were feeding in the Christmas tree plantation.
Last stop was a rather disappointing Camp Lane Pits. There was little here of note but for 4 Little Grebes and yet more Coot and a handful of Tufted Duck. I was unable to locate the female Goldeneye that had been present for a while. That said on the whole it was an enjoyable change of scene.