TAWNY OWL (49) was added to my months list last evening, when two birds were heard to call, screech and 'bark' in the Wet Woods behind my house.
Back to this morning........... a dusting of snow lay around my patch first thing and further snow showers fell during my visit, but they amounted to nothing.
I knew the lakes would be frozen over, so I paid a visit to the fields and paddocks of Migrant Alley first off this morning, the hoped for Snipe didn't turn up though, they often do if its snows, just not today! There were plenty of FIELDFARE and REDWING moving about, in all, a couple of hundred birds were seen as I walked the sheep pasture and paddocks. A few single YELLOWHAMMER flew over as I left Migrant Alley via High House Lane and a party of 13 LONg TAILED TITS made there way along the lane, then a SPARROWHAWK flew past, putting up 50-60 Fieldfare that were on the adjacent arable fields there.
Passing through the Small Holding I saw the male KESTREL perched in one of the old pear trees, but not much else was seen. The pools of water in the Wet Woods were frozen over, just a few MOORHEN scampered about them, but up above in the branches a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER drummed and both NUTHATCH and COAL TIT called.
Reaching the lakes, it was as I feared, the water was frozen over, apart from a small area of the ornamental lake that is kept open by the fountain. The MUTE SWAN pair made use of it, along with a few MALLARD, but I didn't see the Coot today.
I made my way back over to the Greenhouse Grounds via the Ashes Lane Fields, where yet more Fieldfare/Redwing/STARLINGS were feeding, then, as I walked beside the drainage ditch between two fields, a whoosh of wings was heard and up came a WOODCOCK (50) a fantastic bird to get on my patch, the second record this year, but I never loose the 'buzz' of seeing one. Crossing the ditch and into the next field, I put up at least 50 MEADOW PIPITS, which swirled around calling before dropping back down further into the field.
I ended my visit over at the Greenhouse Grounds, finding the GREY WAGTAIL there, plus a pair of BULLFINCHES and the female Kestrel. A quick 20 minute sky watch was had, again hoping for a flyover wader, but none were seen, I did however see 3 COMMON BUZZARDS (51) up soaring.
Nothing for the camera today, although I did narrowly fail to get both Bullfinch and Grey Wagail at close range! The blog photo folder has run dry, so an image less post today :-(