Rose early on Sunday morning to a dripping, damp misty morning in the village. The lanes and hedges are ablaze with colour at the moment, and Debs and I enjoyed all of this well before the rest of the village awoke. Upon leaving the front door, the first bird of the day was to be a Bullfinch, couldn't ask for a better start! At least 2 birds were calling, all I saw on this occasion was a white backside. Good to know they can be seen local though.
Continuing towards Ferry Road on foot, we encountered Fieldfare, Redwing and Song Thrush feeding on the Rose hips adorning the scrub. Birding can and will be at times dull in the deep mid-winter, but these welcome visitors always make it bearable. Not much was moving overhead due to the thick mist, and the same was true upon arriving at Church Marsh.
A significant number of Teal were loafing about on the lagoon, and after nervously circling when we arrived, they settled again and I was able to count 107, which Ben tells me is a record count! Smashed, the previous high being 53 from 16th November 2003, incredibly the same date as my count. As well as the expected residents including Kingfisher, Cettis' Warbler and Reed Bunting, a familiar pinging sound emanated from deeper within the reed bed. Finally, Bearded Tit have returned to Church Marsh after at least a 3 year absence. Number 120 for the year.
Owls featured elusively rather than prominently this weekend. Arriving at Chris and Allison's on Saturday night, an Owl drifted through the yard which I at first thought was Tawny, although they do have a resident Barn Owl (and part time Hen Harriers and Tree Sparrows, very nice). It was nice to visit and catch up with everyone.
Back home, Debs and I both awoke in the early hours this morning to a calling Tawny Owl. I could hear another bird towards Coldham Hall, but can't recall if he came any closer as I drifted off to sleep again.