A late afternoon stroll around Branton Ponds produced a few birds of interest including 26 teal, 42 wigeon, 7 female goosander and 3 female goldeneye. There were no greylag or Canada geese and other duck numbers are greatly reduced from a week ago. No little or great crested grebes could be found. Do these birds know something that we do not? An adult lesser black-backed gull was on the water with 7 herring gulls.
There was a kingfisher on the river, charms of goldfinches and greenfinches were going to roost in the scrub. Reed buntings and yellowhammers were making their way to the reedbed at the western end of the site.
The highlight of the walk was finding at least 1 chiffchaff and there may have been as many as another two. These birds were in the scrub close to the sluice on the northern side of east pond.
Wild carrot, nipplewort and gorse were still in flower.
News from the weekend
A buzzard, stoat and brown hare were on the road at the Bridge of Aln early on Sunday morning.
A barn owl flew over the A697 at Roseden and a common frog hopped over the minor road at Lilburn.