It was far less cold this morning, but yesterdays frost still persisted on the ground. Numbers of birds had increased slightly on yesterday, but not by much. Of the 46 species seen, the highlight was again a WOODCOCK, it flew up from the margin of the wet woods/ tree nursery as I passed, and it came down a short way into the wet woods. Another visitor was just as welcome - A SNIPE, this was seen on the stream behind the college, I saw it before it saw me (unusual!) and I managed to get a photo of it, of sorts! The BARN OWL was at its roost, and the LINNETS were again seen coming from theirs. Species missed yesterday were picked up today - COAL and LONG TAILED TITS in the college grounds, and 2 maybe 3 MEADOW PIPITS at Migrant Alley, where there were 18 LAPWING and a few BLACK HEADED GULLS.
The wild bird crop remains an attractive place for the YELLOWHAMMERS and REED BUNTINGS, with minimum totals of 30 and 15 respectively. The latter species is the most i've ever seen together anywhere! Just goes to show what a willing farmer can achieve with a small piece of ground.
When I got to the wet woods, the ice was showing signs of thawing, but the small pools still stood my weight, as well as a fox that I watched scamper across. TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, and GOLDCREST were all recorded here. The Lake was still hard frozen though, apart from a small area where the fountain was splashing down, 6 MALLARD were dabbling in the open water, but nothing else.
When I got home, I went upstairs to put all the mornings data on my spreadsheets, and as I looked out onto the garden feeders I saw a male BRAMBLING (63). I grabbed my camera, and just as I was going to press the button, out comes the neighbour with the washing - chance gone! I may get it later this afternoon if it comes back. It's good to get a Brambling on the list early in the year, they are not seen so much at the back end of the year, saying that, this bird is my first Brambling seen in any January! Also seen in the garden, for the day list, was a MARSH TIT. 48 for a January day is excellent.
Above. Sunrise over pittswood, and below, a Long Tailed Tit