I walked into the tree nursery, and all was quiet, even the Green Woodpeckers had stopped ''yaffling'' ! Then, to rescue a visit that wood have gone down as one of the dullest on record, a high pitched call came from the low tangle of bramble and small Laurel bushes, a 'Crest' I thought, so I stopped an scanned the tangle, and Wow! A FIRECREST (59), I thought it would be a long wait before I recorded another of these, as I had only seen one last month - or was this the same bird ? It was about 50yds from place where I last saw one, and had not seen a sniff of it since (22nd Dec). I must have waited half an hour trying to get a photo of it, and despite it feeding almost around my feet at times, it wouldn't stay still, or come out fully into the open.This is the kind of rareity I'm going to need, if i'm going to beat the record 106 species seen last year!
Someone up there must have felt sorry for me today, seeing me out in the gloom, and cold, and decided that a Firecrest was not the only treat I deserved, for as I left the little fellow, a SNIPE (60), flew low over my head, making a low squawk as it flew away and round to the SW. This is another good species for my patch, it's not recorded every year, it's nice to get it at the beginning of the year rather than desperately trying to find one at the end of it! As the evening drew in at 3:45, the LINNET flock came in to roost, settling in the surrounding trees waiting to drop into the dense Laurel bushes. I counted at least 120 birds, but i'm not sure they were all Linnets, however. The flock was not approachable, and all I got were silhouette's.
Another day to remember on my patch, - Eventually!!
Above and below. A stunning gem of a bird, Firecrest! I'm afraid my photo's do it very little justice.
Below: The lake, encased in ice - no good for ducks, geese, Kingfishers or anyting really, I need the latter two if i'm going to set a new january record species total !