The snow that was forecast for the night never happened, in fact it turned a bit warmer by daybreak, and the snow of the past few days was rapidly thawing. That said, it was still only just above freezing, with a nagging cold wind, which brought in frequent sleet and rain showers - a most unpleasant morning!
The birds obviously felt the same way about the conditions, it took me 40 mins, to rack up just 13 species, and by the time i had reached the college stream only 20 species had been logged. Of these the most notable, (but only just) were singles of YELLOWHAMER, which was trying to get at the last remaining grass seeds of a single stalk of grass that poked through the snow, pitiful to watch, and a MEADOW PIPIT that was feeding on a large manure heap, along with a ROBIN, DUNNOCK and SONG THRUSH.
The flock of SISKIN seen yesterday in the alder lined college stream, had got a bit smaller, around 40 birds were seen there, but I could see no Lesser Redpoll with them today. More highlights than the above mentioned, I would be hard pressed to recall, the KESTREL was seen hunting again around the Greenhouse Complex, the first time in 3 days, and 3 COMMON GULLS passed over as I walked home from the first half of my walk.
The second half of my walk was one of the poorest yet undertaken, these wintery conditions have either sent the birds elswhere, or they have perished, with the lack of feeding opportunties due to the snow cover. Just six species were added to the day list, which totalled just a paultry 37, GOLDFINCH, CHAFFINCH and GREENFINCH, - they were associating with my garden feeders not far away, PIED WAGTAIL that was by some open water at the Small Holding, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER in the wet woods and a COAL TIT by the lake area.
Surely this week winter will release its grip, there are signs of it, it would be nice to see some green grass at Migrant Alley and open water at the lake, I miss the Mallards now i'm not seeing them!
The years list is stalling a bit now, just 57 species have been seen, still 11 behind last January, but looking at my records I see that the average number of species seen for January, is 59, so I'm not totally off track........... just 43 more species to get for my yearly target of 100. :-)