I turned down an opportunity of heading out to the Norfolk Brecklands today, despite being excited about going to see the wildlife around the River Thet and Lakenheath. With the severe weather at dawn and drifting snow in the strong easterly wind a pang of conscience couldn't be suppressed. With Eleanor already committed, I knew that some of the wild bird feeding stations would require replenishing today so I opted to stay local. The drifting snow provided some impressive 4' drifts on some of the minor roads so a few 'u' turns and extra miles were required!
Several Bramblings and quite a host of Siskins and Lesser Redpolls were near to the feeders at Kelmarsh Hall, and it took less that 10 minutes for 35 Blackbirds to gather on the food at Harrington Airfield. A bit of a hike was required to reach Christies Copse at Pitsford Res with a couple of buckets of food, and I was greeted by a good dozen or so Siskins twanging and fizzing in the nearby trees. Large numbers of tits immediately began to extract sunflower seeds, pausing only to provide a bit of space to Great Spotted Woodpeckers.
A day-hunting Barn Owl and a Red Kite were on the outskirts of Scaldwell village, the Barn Owl presumably being unable to hunt at night due to the wintery conditions.
There were plenty of birds at the main feeding station at Pitsford Res, dominated by Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers. A Little Ringed Plover flew in calling at 10.45am - I'm not sure I have ever seen one in the snow before! A Kingfisher was seen later in the day off the yacht club.
The garden here at Hanging Houghton hosted much the same birds as yesterday, both days seeing the return of apple-loving Fieldfares and today a couple of heavy-duty Mistle Thrushes.