|Drake Pintail (c) Bark|
Several days of low temperatures and some snow brought a real taste of winter to the moor. Both Saturday and Sunday were the finest kind of winter days clear, sunny and brilliantly lit, the only downside a bitter nagging wind.
|Path to the second screen|
|Waiting for the thaw (c) Bark|
It was reassuring to see that those birds more vulnerable to severe cold had made it through the cold snap unscathed. On Sunday morning after a hard frost we heard at least three different Cetti’s Warblers calling from the reedbed and the bridleway.
|Both Stonechats (c) JR|
|Pied Wagtail Top two (c) Bark lower (c) JR|
|Male Stonechat (c) Bark|
We saw no Golden Plovers at the weekend but there were several smaller flocks of Lapwings both on and off the reserve. As we arrived on Saturday morning a larger flock was flushed by what looked to be a male Peregrine but not the one we have been seeing fairly regularly, as it had a full complement of feathers on its left wing.
A drake Goosander was reported last Wednesday from the first screen, sadly it did not linger, probably because of the dearth of fish in the southern lagoon. Eleven Pintail were on the same lagoon on Saturday and flew over our heads at the screen they looked stunning against the clean blue of the sky in the crisp sunshine.
|Pintail (c) JR|
The finch flock is still growing, although more slowly, but does feature a few more Yellowhammers now. It is interesting to notice just how familiar the birds have become with the feeding process. Where they would normally flush right off, they now come in and land just as we have gone past with the seed spreader.
|Buntings and Finch by the hide (c) Bark|
|Water Rail in the snow (c) JR|
On Ashgrave our small herd of Fallow Deer has now swollen to nine including a particularly well antlered stag.
|Fallow Deer Stag Ashgrave (c) Noah Gins|