Each year David Arden and myself complete a series of Common Bird Census surveys, conducted whilst walking around the nature reserve at Pitsford Res. The first one is normally towards the latter half of March which is useful for detecting the more obscure resident species. We have delayed the process this year due to the very cold conditions and minimal singing of song birds. However today I gave it a go in cold grey conditions. There was some bird song for the first couple of hours but it soon petered out and most of the records of Song Thrushes, Blackbirds etc were non-singing birds occupied in finding food for themselves. The first Canada Goose nest was located and both Cormorant and Grey Heron nestlings were heard.
Five to seven Smew were still present (five including two drakes in the Holcot Bay and two redheads in the Scaldwell Bay), as were two Oystercatchers, three Woodcock, about a dozen Siskins, 2 redpoll sp and a Willow Tit.