Tuesday 7th February

A midday run around the patch today found quite a bit of bird life in the thawing conditions. The floods themselves were still almost completely frozen but a large pool in the middle was full of wigeon, teal and about a dozen PINTAIL and the surrounding grass is largely free of snow so presumably they can all feed ok. As I was watching, a flock of three RUFF flew in and landed on the ice - I presume that they'd been feeding along the river shoreline and had been disturbed by some walkers.

The ducks crowding around the one ice-free pool on the floods

The Castle Mill Stream held a couple of refugee wigeon, a few teal and a best of all a drake TUFTED DUCK (a good bird for the Patch). There were loads of tits and redwing buzzing around all over the place. However, the highlight of the morning was finding a flock of 10+ SISKIN (a Patch year tick) feeding in the alders in the Waterside development alongside the Spinney. This seems to be a good spot for them and I've seen them along here in previous years.

The joys of patch birding: a tufted duck is something
to get excited about on the Meadow!

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