When we got there we was suprised at just how warm it felt compared to back home, the temperature outside was 6c and it wasn't long before it went up to 7.5c where it stayed most of the day, until late afternoon.
We went to the visitors centre for lunch, when we arrived at the car park there was no more than 6/7 cars there, anyway we sat in the far corner seats, this time I took my scope in with me, I don't usually do that, but this time I was glad I did, because over the far side of Burrows Pit was the male Smew. It was showing really well, along with a female 'redhead' Smew. I scanned around just incase there was any more, I didn't find any but what I did see was 2 Goldeneye(1m,1f) and a female 'redhead Goosander, again right over against the far bank. There have been reports of up to 27 Goosanders there on the reserve, The other species of bird seen on Burrows Pit was: Cormorant, G/B/B/Gull, L/B/B/Gull, Herring Gull, Common Gull, B/H/Gull, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Mallard, Teal, Coot Moorhen, Shoveler, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Greylag Geese, Gadwall, Wigeon(there was more Wigeon here than any other species).The birds seem to be congregating in large groups nearer the far bank and islands.
We then went round toDenge Marsh Hide, several species was seen from the track there and back, I will list them later. I entered the hide to find that I had it all to myself, so I set the scope up and scanned around. Again Wigeon was the greatest number of birds there, and again nearly all the birds was over by the reeds, so no chance of any near photo shots, I did pick out a small Grebe in the distance, I could clearly see it had a steep forehead with a peak at the top and not at the back of the head, plus it had dark feathering behind the eye going down, which could mean ony one thing, it was a Black Necked Grebe. I kept my eye on it just in case it came any closer, and after a while it did, not that close but I did try to get a record shot of it, them just as I got the camera on it another one appeared near to it, so it was 2, not 1.
Another way to tell they are Black necked Grebes and not Slavonian in by the black stipe on the back
of the neck, on a Black Necked it is broad, and on a Slavonian it is slim, so if at times one can only see the back of the bird remember it this way, Black Necked, B for broad. Slavonian, S for slim.
There was two times when, as usual a Marsh Harrier flew over the flood putting fear of christ up the birds scattering them everywhere, but even after they settled nothing special appeared. The species there was virtually the same as on Burrows so there is no point listing them.
Before leaving I scanned the fields on the right as you go to Christmas Dell Hide hoping there might be a wader or two, but even though it was snow and ice free, where was nothing there.
As we drove down the track we stopped where the bridle path goes through to Lydd because there wa 5 Red legged partridges feeding amonst the long grass,so hoping for a picture or two we waited, they certainly didn't want to play ball, but a couple did wander out a short distance before seeing me, then it was heads down, and off like the clappers in the opposite direction.