Large, heavy, drops of rain slowly drenched through my coat as it persistently fell from the leaden skies above. I was soaked before I even reached a viewpoint over the floodplain forest nature reserve. My 2nd walk of the year (and first on the patch) was going to be a very wet one.
Wet and Wild walk on the patch
I should have known today would be a wet and wild walk on the patch. The rain had been a consistant patter on the Velux window, above my bed, throughout the night, so why would I think anything else would be likely.
Still birds are capable of being found in the rain (although photo opportunities are limited). But I needed today. 14 days into a new year and only my second walk, this isn’t going well for my goals for the year!
Birding the wet
The rain had turned to fine, skin soaking mist, but huge droplets dripped from the water laden bushes to send shivers down my spine. However Goldfinches still chattered away, as they clung to the spiky wet teasels; winter thrushes still scattered on approach with a cacophony of chacks and peeps. Mallards quacked in the ditches, Teal piped in the ponds, Wigeon whistled on the lakes. Just because of the rain, the birds didn’t stop.
I made an assumption that due to the current UK lockdown the hides shouldn’t be used, and I stuck to this, except to use one as shelter briefly as I dried my camera to put it away (rain and electronics not always the best mix, but I did try).
A brief moment of excitement
Once the camera was away there was a moments of excitement when I spotted a male Red Crested Pochard swimming in the stilt pits, although he didn’t stay for long, as soon was off flying west, and out of sight. I don’t know if he stayed on the reserve or carried on sadly.
It wasn’t until I was home that I realised the RC Pochard was actually a patch tick! My 136th bird seen in the area.
I decided a shorter walk would be best today, so headed home for an even wetter and muddier dog walk, but I won’t bore you with that.