On the birding front it has been a bit quiet. The male GOLDENEYE has stayed at Grove Lake and probably will remain there for the rest of the winter. GOOSANDER come and go with numbers still on the low side. On the 11th, I joined Tony and Steve at the Grove Lake hide, not that we could see anything, as fog had obcured the lake. Gordon was absent and had gone to the Caribbean with Sue to find some sun, now who in their right mind would choose that over dark and foggy Berkshire!!!!!!!!. Anyway eventually the fog lifted, just in time for a male KINGFISHER to fly in and land on a reedmace in front of the hide. We had great views before it decided to fly to another reedmace even nearer to the hide. I didn't waste the opportunity and took several photos before it flew off and out of sight. I am always amazed at the vibrant colours of their plumage.
A flock of fifty or so REDWINGS, with a scattering of FIELDFARE and BLACKBIRDS have over the last two weeks, eaten the considerable crop of rowanberries on my neighbours two trees, which are now completely bare of fruit. Now that their food source has gone, the flock has moved on to find food elsewhere.
I have managed to see WATER RAIL on two occasions this month, first on the 20th, which was a fleeting glance, when one ran across a gap in the reeds in front of the Colebrook Lake North (CLN) hide and the second on the 28th, when I had good views of a bird on the northern side of CLN. This bird was busy trying to chase away a SNIPE which it seemed to take a dislike to, but the SNIPE stood it's ground and eventually the WATER RAIL gave up and disappeared into the reeds.
Lastly, for those that celebrate it, I wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year.