So i headed of to the Makepeace hide and straight away i encounted hundreds of Wigeon and Teal plus lesser numbers of Gadwall, Mallard, Shoverler ,Tufted and Pochard, i also saw 1 male Pintail , 2 female Goldeneye and 3 male and 3 female Ruddy ducks , so pleased with this i continued my track around the reserve and onto the Scott hide and almost as soon as i sat down and set up my scope i found one of my target birds in the form of an elegant drake Smew, simply stunning , god i wish i had a decent camera my pathetic thing ( camera that is ...lol ) is useless and could nt catch a cold let alone a good picture !! Anyhow i watched this wonderful sawbill for quite awhile picking off one or two year ticks as i went such as : Dunnock , Common , Herring and Black-Headed Gull .
My next stop was the Denge Marsh hide where 2 species of scarce winter grebes had been reported , once again after setting up my scope and doing a rather to quick a scan of the pool all i picked up were Little and Great Crested Grebes which were both year ticks i might add, then after a more controlled scan i eventually came across a smallish black and white looking grebe which of course decided to play hide and seek and dived out of sight straight away, ( my god cant they hold their breaths for along time ) or at least it seems like that when you want to see them, anyhow it decided to surface and to my delight it was an adult winter Black Necked Grebe , steep forehead , darkish below the eye being two distinct features, and soon after looking at this bird another adult winter Black-Necked Grebe appeared, their had been Slavonian Grebe reported here to but alas my luck run out with that one , however other birds of note from here were Marsh Harrier , Green Woodpecker , Bearded Tit several hundred Lapwing, Golden Plover and 3 Kestrels.
So very pleased with this i decided to call into Grove Ferry on the way home .