Not so cold today, and the wind had lost its bite, even the sun made the odd attempt to show itself, so it was a more enjoyable walk over to the lake this afternoon.
Walking through the Small Holding, the usual flock of mixed CHAFFINCH and GREENFINCH were seen, and a GREEN WOODPECKER was feeding on a large lawn in a nearby garden, as I rounded the bend on the footpath, this bird confronted me -
It will stand more chance of going on my dinner plate than my patch list!
Through the Wet Woods, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were heard calling, and a few BLUE and GREAT TITS were about, but nothing else, a SISKIN flew over calling as I neared the Lake area.
Scanning the water was another anticlimax, although a GREY HERON was seen, but just 6 MALLARD remained, with another two dropping in later. I took a walk round the scrubby area and found the expected species of LONG TAILED TIT, TREECREEPER and two GOLDCREST, but as I tried unsuccessfully to sneak up on a Fox, a WOODCOCK flew up in front of me, alighting again not far away, I would love a photo of a Woodcock, but decided against flushing it for a second time, this is the second Woodcock recorded this month, but this year is only the second year I have had woodcock on my patch. I returned to the lake edge, and scanned the sky for a while, this paid dividends, as not only did I have some great views of a KESTREL hunting, but also saw the PEREGRINE go zipping over, just a few minutes later, bird of the day was heard - a TAWNY OWL (65), it hooted twice, just to confirm its place as the 65th species of the year. I'm just 3 species behind last years January record total now, but with only 3 days left it will be hard to find them.
Above is the Grey Heron, and below are a couple of Kestrel shots, not very good i know, but the light was fading fast. :-)