Rain Stops Play

Eurasian Coot - Rain Stops Play
Rain Stops Play

Actually a bit of a misleading title as the rain didn’t start till we were nearly home but it makes for a more interesting title than boots filled with water make us go home early, confused yet? Sorry I know, I’ll start properly now.

Rain Stops Play

I awoke this morning with plans of a nice patch walk with my daughter, we have been confined to the house a lot recently, yet another family death (My step father R.I.P Perry Harris you will be sorely missed) and then sickness bugs over Christmas kind of curtailed any adventures on the patch, then it was back to work for me, so today was my first opportunity to get out and we woke to bright sunshine! It was very cold, and really windy but it was Sunny so that is what I focused on. And so we donned our water proofs (it is England after all and storms are predicted to get quite bad this week), and headed out.

Blues skies and Gulls
Blues skies and Gulls

First birding of the year

As birding trips go I was quite excited today is basically my 1st Jan birding so pretty much anything I see will be new for the patch for the year (Bar Canada goose, Robin, Dunnock and Blackbird the only birds I have seen/heard so far on my dark cycles to work) and with my competition with Simon starting it added to my excitement.


On stepping out of the door I was greeted with Wood Pigeon, Collard Dove, Starling, Blue Tit and Great Tit, Magpie and Carrion Crow followed pretty quickly as did Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Blackbird. A really good start and we hadn’t even reached the lake.

Bo watching for birds
Bo watching for birds

On the Lake

On the lake itself there was a nice raft of Black Headed Gulls with one lone Lesser Black-backed Gull in amongst them as well as Mallard, Great Crested Grebe and Coot, a small group of Goldfinch extended my list and then the big one fell!!

Standing on the duck feeding platform looking through the gulls, I heard and unusual raspy finch call from above me and raising my binoculars was greeted with a rather dull brown finch, at first I was a little confused thinking that is a very odd call for a chaffinch, then it struck me it was a female BRAMBLING my first on the patch, and a real mega for here (in fact it may be the first), unfortunately it didn’t hang around and continued its flight off over towards Two Mile Ash.

A storm approaches
A storm approaches


Continuing around the lake a few more species were added, Dunnock, skulking in the bushes, Moorhen picking through the margins, Canada Goose edging up the bank for food, Mute Swans regally patrolling the lake, a couple of Cormorants swooping like some prehistoric creature down onto the lake for a fish and one lone Stock Dove flying quickly to avoid the now on coming storm clouds. My day’s total was now 24 species, full list below (not bad for a short walk) and my years patch total now 25 (including a Robin not that I saw any today) but the trip was over. Why you ask? well read on.

Once we had got about half way around the lake we came across a large number of puddles and you know what puddles mean, yup, they mean Bo splashing (just look at the photos) big splashes in these puddles and then we would head off down the river, past the Troll Hole, in search of who knows what, except once we were a short way down the river Bo starting saying her feet were wet, on sitting her on a bench I took off a boot only to find it full of water, I could literally squeeze her feet and water flooded out! I’m a harsh dad making her go out in all weather but even I’m not cruel enough to make her continue to walk in such wet clothes and so we headed home.

Deep Puddles
Deep Puddles
Splashing is fun
Splashing is fun

Lashing Rain and Filled Boots

By the time we reached our road the approaching storm was on us and the rain was lashing down, so we were fortunate that wet feet had brought us home or we would have been really wet!

I will hopefully get out a bit more in coming weeks when everyone is back to work/school and I can do what I like on my days off.  Anyway I hope you like the photos and here is the days list (in the order I wrote them down):

Rain Stops Play Bird List

  1. Blue Tit
  2. Great Tit
  3. Starling
  4. Collard Dove
  5. Wood Pigeon
  6. Carrion Crow
  7. Greenfinch
  8. Magpie
  9. Blackbird
  10. Black Headed Gull
  11. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
  12. Coot
  13. Mallard
  14. Chaffinch
  15. Great Crested Grebe
  17. Goldfinch
  18. Dunnock
  19. House Sparrow
  20. Moorhen
  21. Cormorant
  22. Canada Goose
  23. Mute Swan
  24. Stock Dove

Please feel free to leave me a comment, I really appreciate the interaction and will reply as soon as I can.

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  • Cherry Harris

    Sounds like a good trip with a Brmbling to add to the collection – long time since I've seen one of them (probably in Norfolk if I remember rightly – or would it have been Kent?). Shame about the wet boots!

  • Si

    Yes mate – Brambling was indeed a mega ! First record for the patch area – I am sure with the amount of Gardens and Feeders all over Great Holm and Bradwell Village that they must be here , but this goes down as the first one for 103 Species.

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