Strong winds and driving rain meant that today was always going to be a touch tricky for seeing wildlife!
Early this morning I put some effort in to watching the garden birds which was something of a novelty. We put the food out each morning before it is light but are never here to see what eats it! First I counted and perused the Jackdaw flock which included a striking individual which exhibited the features normally associated with Nordic Jackdaw. Plenty of Woodpigeons invaded the garden and it seemed to be a race between them and the Grey Squirrels to consume the sunflower hearts! The stars though were a little gaggle of Long-tailed Tits which all just about fitted on to the peanut feeder at the same time!
A drive up to Barnwell Country Park near Oundle was next as we made preparations for a Ringing Demonstration on-site on 19th January 2014 (full details will be advertised nearer the date). A flock of 35 or so Siskins wheeled about the alders in the increasingly strong gusts. Eleanor in the meantime took a rather wet walk at Harrington Airfield after feeding the birds by the main entrance. Half a dozen Bramblings came down on to the food amongst the more common fare, and a flock of about a hundred Golden Plovers careered around.
More feeding station maintenance this afternoon was a rather damp affair and with trees crashing around me I decided not to remain in the woods for too long! A Woodcock flushed at Scotland Wood was the only bird of note.
An attempt to watch the gull roost at Pitsford failed due to a very intrepid but talented wind-surfer keeping the birds at bay, and the gull hide almost being blown away (with me in it)!