Monday 16th January

Another very cold but sunny day with little wind so I decided to go for a late morning run around the patch. This proved to be a most enjoyable excursion with the cold weather meaning that all birds were very actively searching for food rather than skulking away. The Trap Grounds which is normally not that productive, today came up trumps with a good handful of patch year ticks. To start with a SNIPE flew off as I approached the pond and a male reed bunting was (appropriately enough) in amongst the reeds. As I moved around to the board walk I spotted a WATER RAIL slinking away into the reeds - this is a very good bird for the patch with is certainly less than annual. Further around a posse of jays were screeching away in the distance and a greater-spotted woodpecker flew over calling. Burgess Field was still largely birdless though I did get a nice view of one of the resident green woodpeckers. Out on the Hinterland the golden plover flock were widely scattered all over the place. They were there yesterday as well though in a much more tightly packed flock then. Along the river shore there were a total of three REDSHANK though I couldn't find any displaced ducks of any kind. The Castle Mill Stream still had quite a few teal in it and there were loads of redwing in the trees. To round things off on the small stream next to the Spinney by the Waterside development there was a grey wagtail feeding away on the frozen water. All in all a very nice morning's round with quite a few patch year ticks.

Often overlooked, carrion crows are very
smart looking birds close up.

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