Above is Ashes lane, most of the snow has been cleared in this photo taken at 09:00hrs, and by 16:00hrs, after visits from the gritters every 3 hours it was almost totally free of snow and ice. It pays to have wealthy people living up the lane, things seem to get done :-) ( PS I'm not one of the wealthy ones)
Birding wise, well it was very slow today, unsurprising given the harsh conditions, temperatures never got above freezing and my patch is under a foot of snow. An hours walk along Ashes lane this morning from 09:00hrs only gave me 3 new species for the month, all flyovers, they were, LESSER REDPOLL (41), PIED WAGTAIL (42) and MEADOW PIPIT (43). I couldn't visit any part of Migrant Alley, or the Greenhouse Grounds due to the snow depth, so had to be content with a skywatch, which as well as the above mentioned species I also had 2 CANADA GEESE, 4 SKYLARKS, 6 HERRING GULL and 2 SISKIN flyover.
After that it was back to the busy garden feeders, where 23 species visited today, one of them a new one for the December garden list - a FIELDFARE, just the second year one has been seen in the garden.
At 13:45hrs, I was needing to get out again, so I went up Ashes lane in the other direction, and got to the Small Holding and Wet Woods now that a track had been made through the snow by dog walkers ( at least they are good for something !) Trouble is they had flushed everything, so little was seen apart from a few very cold looking ROBINS and a few GREAT and BLUE TITS. I thought i'd brave the footpath leading from the Wet Woods to the lake, and after getting through it, with snow clinging all the way to my thighs, I was only rewarded with another flyover SNIPE, nothing else was seen at all, the lakes were indistinguishable from the surrounding scrub, being under a foot of snow!
As I write this, fog is moving in, a sure sign of warmer air, sleety rain is forecast tonight so some of the snow levels may have dropped for tomorrows first full patch walk for the month.
Photo's today are of some of the garden visitors .