Spoke to the wardens by phone as we arrived and was told of a strange call coming from the reeds adjacent to where we had parked...we heard it too...twice...a it like a slow Little Grebe trill...dunno, no idea, never heard anything like it before and didn't hear it again during the afternoon...a Cetti's Warbler singing an unusual secondary song? 14 Pink Footed Geese went over and two Whooper Swans also headed south east. A Jay flew north, not a commonly seen species here. The wardens also told us that the Starling roost was somwher in the region of a whopping 25,000 birds.
At first it appeared fairly quiet with just the usual ducks and a few gulls to grill but we soon found some better stuff. A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over from the north while we thought a 1st winter Mediterranean Gull flew past but we didn't get a decent view of it before it went round the corner and out of sight when a small male Sparrowhawk shuffled the gulls around. Then we saw bird of the day, an unusual gull...a Common Gull with a huge amount of white in the wing tip, more like a well marked 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull or a more typical pale wing-tipped argentatus Herring Gull. Very unusual but we didn't get a good look at the rest of it as it disappeared behind us - would it come back.
11 Redwings and a single Fieldfare passed over at the opposite end while a Cetti's Warbler gave excellent views but sadly too brief. Had it stayed still it would have been in the circle.
Two Whooper Swans with a proper bird!
We quickly made our way to the next hide to get less obstructed views. Really like these winter wanderers. A second Cetti's Warbler was heard here.
We left the Whoopers to their fate and went to see if the Tree Sparrows were still on site. On route we watched a Migrant Hawker dragonfly catch a couple of midges.
Unfortunately some numb-skull let of a nuisance firewirk close by and everything flushed from the feeders. Still it gave us the opportunity to go and see how the Whoopers were getting on. On the way back 75 Pink Footed Geese went over and a female Sparrowhawk looked as though it was dead set on getting settled into a decent hidey-hole before the Starlings come in to roost.
Moving back to the first hide we had a Redshank fly in, two weeks running - WOW.
Watching it we spotted four Wigeon tucked under an overhanging bank. A Water Rail called from close to the edge of the nearby reedbed but didn't come out for a photo opportunity.