Today I took the opportunity to "catch up" with some of the long standing winter visitors as well as start off my year list. At Pitsford Reservoir I was able to tick off Great Northern Diver and Ring Necked Duck before heading over to Stanwick in search of the male Hen Harrier. I spent nearly 2 hours here viewing the rough field area and was literally just having a last sweep around and saw it hunting the area between the farm and the disused railway line. Other birds here included Pink Footed Goose, Cettis Warbler, Chiffchaff and a Barn Owl.
Earlier in the day there was a Barn Owl and at least 7 Brambling , four of which were superb males below Hanging Houghton.
On my run I encountered at least 18 Red Kites circling the fields near Haselbeech ,the air being filled with their evocative calls. Certainly a beautiful sight and sound on an equally beautiful frosty morning.
Our garden has been busy with birds too, at least 3 Brambling, Yellowhammers, male Reed Buntings , Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker. We are not alone with having Brambling in their garden as our neighbours had at least 6 today also.