For the first time this year, I set off on a full patch walk with the sun shining in a clear blue sky, yes it was cold and frosty, but I'll take that over the gloom of late!
The decent weather doesn't always mean a good birding day though, and today proved that well enough, incredibly only 38 species were recorded in the 3 and a half hours I was out. Some of that can be put down to the disturbance from dog walkers, who all wanted to get out early in the sun, but they couldn't be held responsible for the lack of birds in the sky, the only species seen flying over were small groups of HERRING GULLS, and two CORMORANTS. Some decent sized flocks of winter thrushes were moving to and from my patch, the biggest FIELDFARE flock was of 61, and the biggest REDWING flock was of 38, but none stayed on the paddocks and pasture at Migrant Alley, perhaps they didn't like to associate with the 100 or so BLACK HEADED GULLS that were there already, along with 50 ROOKS and 23 JACKDAWS.
Highlights from the wet Woods and lakes area were limited to just a few SISKIN feeding in alder trees, two BULLFINCH in sycamore, and the finding of a mixed flock of woodland species, all the regulars being involved GREAT TIT, BLUE TIT, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, and GOLDCREST, there was no sign of the lone Marsh tit that overwinters here though, hope it's ok :-)
It was a kick in the b*lls to find the lake had frozen over again!!! Nothing on or around it, but at least the ice was thinner than the last time it froze.
In all it was a disappointing visit, but I enjoyed the sunshine anyway, there was nothing to add to the months list, which remains on 58, ten behind the best January total, but there's plenty of time yet to add to the month.
Very little posed for the camera, which was frustrating given the good light today, but I did snap this Black Headed Gull as it swooped over my head, I think the blue sky is more pleasing than the image of the gull :-)
I also got a long distance snap of a lovely male Bullfinch, which always look good on a clear frosty morning.