A fairly nondescript January morning, light winds and a threat of drizzle and the temperature mild for this time of year. Selfishly, I would quite like to see some colder weather but I doubt our resident birds would agree with me. This benign Winter is giving the Barn Owls a chance to recover and should allow for a decent breeding season for many, should it continue.
I arrived to birdsong, whereas last year the trees and bushes would have been frozen and silent. Chaffinch sub-song was a first this year, and in full swing was a Mistle Thrush in the churchyard. One of my favourite bird calls, something distant and wild about this one. Another bird was seen near the ruins. Elsewhere on the patch were Skylark overhead, a smattering of Teal on the lagoon, a Song Thrush and Treecreeper. The best of the action was near the landspring, Church side. A small flock of Siskin were showing well, and in amongst them were a Goldcrest, Treecreeper and common Tits. The Siskin were so close I could hear every squeak and squeal they made, quite odd when you listen closely.
Soon after I had left for home, a nice fella I bumped into at the carpark, Clive, later reported on Birdforum that he had seen a Marsh and juvenile Hen Harrier. I really hope the latter sticks around, but tomorrow will be a test since the shooting will take place at the gun club. If I can get home from Sunday lunch in time I may attempt a roost watch from the hill. This would be a South Yare tick for the year, there simply aren't many out there!