Overnight the temperature rose considerably, and rain fell, but 6 inches of yesterdays 12 inches of snow still lay on the fields.
As I walked my patch for the first full walk of December it felt remarkably warm, the gloves, hat and scarf were soon discarded, maybe it just felt warm because it has been so very cold over the last few days!
Birds were much more active today, coming out from their recent concealment to feed, and 47 species were recorded, a good total in the snowy conditions. I picked up the few last remaining regularly seen species needed for the December list, LONG TAILED TIT (44), MARSH TIT (45), MISTLE THRUSH (46), TREECREEPER (47), ROOK (48) and the not so regular CORMORANT (49) of which 5 flew over. The bird or birds of the day for me were the two SNIPE seen feeding in a flooded part of the sheep pasture along the edge of the field boundary with the Greenhouses, i've been spoilt with views this uncommon visitor so far this month :-)
Other notable species seen were the SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL, which hunted over my patch, a COMMON GULL flew over, as did two flocks of REDWING one of 8 and one of 13. A flock of 12 LAPWING also flew over and two more were on the horse paddocks at Migrant Alley. FIELDFARE flew over in small groups, anything from singles to 6 birds were continually being seen and heard. As I was finishing my walk a large group of Geese flew over, 4 of them GREYLAGS and 45 of them were CANADA GEESE.
Hopefully this rapid thaw will continue, and the lakes will be free of ice soon, enabling a Mallard to be recorded for the month, incredible that it would be the 50th species!
I took some photo's today even though it was a bit dull for them really, below is Migrant Alley with a ribbon of mist hanging over the snow field.
Below are two of the 5 Cormorant that went over.