The above photo shows how frosty it was this morning, but it remained dry and bright for the final full patch walk of January.
Birds were not as numerous as yesterday morning, mainly because the fields and paddocks were frozen solid, encasing all the food in an icy tomb. In the 3 and a half hour walk 43 species were recorded, much the same species as yesterday were seen, but four turned up today that didn't yesterday. A MISTLE THRUSH singing somewhere over the Wet Woods was one of them, and the TREECREEPER that decided to show itself in the Small Holding was another. The third species not seen yesterday was a MARSH TIT, good to see its still around, the last species was at first a bit confusing, I picked up an 'odd' looking bird coming towards me as I was crossing the Tree Nursery early in my walk, as it came nearer, I could see it was a PEREGRINE carrying a large item of prey, it must have been out at first light to get that meal! Two KESTRELS and a patch record peak total, of 3 SPARROWHAWKS were seen over the lake area, 2 males and a big female, all interacting with one another.
The first month of the year ends with a good total of 65 species, the second highest January total, 3 behind last years record tally, a little disappointing maybe, considering the combined total for all Januarys is 78. On the other hand the average number of species recorded for Jan. is 59.6, so looking at it in that light it's not so disappointing :-)
Looking at the Garden stats I had a good January, 24 species came in to use the garden, the joint best Jan. total with last year, helped by the LONG TAILED TIT that visited today, I dont get many of these. BRAMBLING and SISKIN were also seen today.
I am already looking forward to what February may bring, a little less frost I hope, thus increasing the chance of a duck species or two, i'll need them if I am going to match the Feb. record of 67, acheived last year!
Above and below are photo's of the sunrise this morning