Today Eleanor and I went to the north of the county and committed to a day's birding given the excellent weather forecast. Although we didn't manage to visit many locations the passerine birding was top notch and very enjoyable in super winter sunshine.
First stop was East Carlton CP where the best birds were a Raven, a Red Kite, ca60 Siskins and 5 Lesser Redpolls.
Next was Weldon Woodland Park on the outskirts of Corby. Initially there was no sign of any Waxwings as reported during the last couple of days, but then at 11.10am a flock of 13 arrived and showed well to at least 11.50am (please see images). These birds were mostly eating rose hip berries, one of their least favourite fruits and reflecting the fact that more palatable berries have already been consumed. There were a couple of Lesser Redpolls here too.
Wakerley Wood was the next venue, and although they were only seen in flight, a flock of ca15 Crossbills were mobile and noisy around the larches near to the main car park. Three Lesser Redpolls fed here too and some 40 Siskins and scattered redpolls were throughout the wood. Two Ravens flew over.
We checked Harringworth Airfield and 3 elusive Hawfinches were in the same place as a single on 30th Dec. One bird sat up in Hawthorn and Blackthorn bushes but would not allow a close approach. A flock of 10 Waxwings were eating rose hips here but also fly-catching too. Other birds included about 20 Siskins, several redpolls, a Woodcock and a Barn Owl. Several Fallow Deer included a white animal.
Driving back around to the A43, at 4pm we came across a flock of 28 Waxwings adorning the roadside hedge opposite the Laxton Hall turning.
Our final venue was Blatherwycke lake where scanning just prior to dusk picked up on a Goosander and 6 Mandarin Ducks.