The wintery conditions continue with some very cold temperatures this morning, reduced to minus ten at Pitsford Res first thing. Much of the water north of the causeway was frozen and the fog and mist ensured that a further attempt at the WeBS count was again cancelled! A Brambling at the Old Scaldwell Road feeding station and a Little Egret near the yacht club were the only birds of note.
This afternoon there was a Chiffchaff in the grounds of Moulton Agricultural College and two Waxwings appeared out of the mist there and landed on a hedge. Others could be heard calling nearby but the appalling visibility prevented further sightings.
A Brambling and a Lesser Redpoll were at Kelmarsh Hall and at least 3 Bramblings and 3 Grey Partridges were present at Harrington Airfield this afternoon.
Birds in the garden remained in good numbers and included 2 Bramblings, 4-5 Lesser Redpolls and Fieldfares and Redwings. These latter two species are suffering significant predation as evidenced by the various patches of feathers in the snow at numerous locations locally. Feeding out in the open, foraging in leaf litter and even digging in to the snow means they are easier to catch than many avian prey, particularly as many of the individuals are hungry and lethargic as they struggle to find sufficient food.
A feeding group of Redwing at Hanging Houghton would have been photogenic had the light conditions been better, but as they are one of my favourite winter birds, I couldn't resist clicking away (and a Wren decided to join in too)...
Neil & Eleanor
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