My last visit was at the tail end of Autumn last year when most stuff had moved on. So felt I needed to make a proper visit, I could do it after work on the way home I thought, so did. I had stopped off once last week but got sidetracked by the swifts I posted last week, always the way lol.
It's a small'ish site tucked away behind the Riverside Retail Park and adjacent to the extremely noisy and busy A45. As I entered the site there was a Kestrel hovering next to a pylon on the site, good start. Plenty of Swifts in the air, quite a few butterflies and dragonflies flitting around. I wanted to have a good look around but was very conscious were I was allowed to walk and where I shouldn't some of the site is permanent wet marsh other parts reminded me of a 'mini-fen' a few scattered pools and a stream running down to the Nene with a really nice hedgerow habitat all in a compact area circa 20 acres in size.
I was on my bike and even I realised it wasn't a good idea to have the bike with me as I walked round the pathways were brilliant but right alongside are wildflowers, mint which smelt gorgeous and grasses and it would feel like vandalism to allow my bike to roll alongside me through it so as I crossed one of the bridges over the stream I eventually padlocked the bike to a gate. I thought I saw a Water Vole that mysteriously morphed into a rat, an all to brief glimpse of a Kingfisher and some common species like Greenfinch and Bullfinch and some Starlings (loads here in the winter). But it was a real struggle to hear anything, that blasted dual carriageway this Chiff-Chaff made its presence known by shouting, I kid you not, definately the loudest Chiff-Chaff I've ever heard.
I got these Great Crested Grebes on one of the small ponds, the fish is a young perch and not a stickleback