welcome to our community in the heart of Surrey!

Riff Raff Diary November 2014

October saw a marked increase in the number of weir movements. During September five adjustments were made to the weirs as opposed to 41 in October. There was still time to continue with the vegetation management along the navigation though. Millmead lock had a spruce up with the grass being cut and plenty of leaves to be raked up. Heading upstream I cut back the vegetation on the narrow section of towpath opposite the Shalford meadows between Ferry Lane and Weirhouse meadow.

I have not seen the Little Egrets on these particular meadows lately but they are still in the area as I caught sight of one near St. Catherine’s lock just the other day. Up at Stonebridge Wharf the boat moorings all received a cut as well. The contractors painting the gas and water pipe gantry by the railway bridge upstream of St. Catherine’s lock have finally left the site. They told me how much they had enjoyed working on the Wey; their next job is in London.

Getting back to birds there were a couple of Rose Ringed Parakeets that made an appearance near St. Catherine’s for a few days. They are a green parrot with a long tapering tail and bright red beak. The male has a pink and black band around the neck. Mainly found in London they are normally a more common sight at the Weybridge end of the navigation. The buzzards are a very regular sight by the river now with more or less daily sighting; also the frequency of Red Kite sightings has definitely increased. Finally look out for the flocks of Redwings, winter visitors from Scandinavia. A small number of them breed in the Scottish highlands. This member of the thrush family is slightly smaller than the song thrush; they have plain brown backs with dark brown spots on the white underparts. The most striking features are the red flanks and underwing, and the creamy white stripe above the eye. They often form flocks with Fieldfares another winter visitor from northern Europe and Asia.

See you by the river.

Robert Craig

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