Luckily the rain eased of and we actually had quite a pleasant walk in the end. The Dockens Water levels were rising fast, going up perhaps 20cm in the time it took to us clear the path eats of the bridge and down towards Rockford, no more than about half an hour.
The "chute" dug along the path and sometimes known as "Jess's Plunge Pool" was just starting to fill when we went past eastwards but was topped up by the time of our return. The picture below shows it complete with water and lots of twigs and leaves.
By the afternoon the sun actually came out and the wind dropped for a time, although it got up again later. I took the chance to walk up to the Lapwing hide and update the blackboard. There were 16 redhead Goosanders, most if not all young birds, hauled out on the spit between Tern and Goosander hides.
Towards dusk I took a look at the roosting gulls, many fewer than on Thursday, although I did not stay so late. There were at least 12 Yellow-legged Gulls though and the single drake Goldeneye was displaying noisily in front of the Tern hide, it seems rather early for such behaviour.
As I locked up the Ivy North hide a calling Cetti's Warbler and a Chiffchaff were a bonus, still no sign of any Bitterns though. If they ar etyo become really regular winterers I would expect the first birds to start turning up at about this time rather than just before Christmas as in the last two years. Of course there might be one hiding out there, they are not the easiest birds to see and there is one written in the hide log for last week, but I am a little suspicious as there have also been flamingo, eagle and dodos recorded recently!
Next week we start work on site preparation for the new Ivy South hide, the hide should be replaced by the end of the month.