Although there were not many birds present, today was the last 'winter' WeBs count of water-birds at Pitsford Res. Nothing new was discovered but both the Great Northern Diver and Red-necked Grebe were off the dam this morning. The Green Sandpiper remained on the floodwater below the dam and a singing Grey Wagtail remains in residence on the dam.
Reasonable numbers of singing Chiffchaffs were present and single pairs of both Marsh Tit and Willow Tit were noted on the reserve section north of the causeway. The Cormorant colony now boasts 34 occupied nests. Between 30-40 Snipe remained in the margins north of the causeway and the pair of Oystercatchers continue to proclaim their territory in a predictably noisy manner.
Dave Francis managed a short ringing session by the Maytrees Hide, catching about thirty birds which included new Yellowhammers, Tree Sparrows and a couple of Mallard.
First thing this morning there were about a dozen Bramblings on the seed at Harrington Airfield. The males were singing and calling loudly from the flowering willow bushes at the track entrance, the cold early morning helping to enhance the wheezes and hard staccato gratings of these stunning northern finches.
In the Brampton Valley between Hanging Houghton and Cottesbrooke, a hike around the fields in the cold but clear conditions succeeded in locating two Wheatears and a fine male Ring Ouzel.
Andrew Tyrrell kindly reported the Wood Duck still on the River Nene near Carlsberg (Northampton) this morning and Clive Bowley advised me that there were a pair of Yellow Wagtails on the Summer Leys NR this morning.