With the temperature down to -6.8c at first light I thought Colin had lost the plot when he turned in to Livingston Avenue, Long Lawford this morning so we could search the brook between the A428 and the railway line bordered both sides by housing. Bugger me with a dodo feather the Great White Egret was just yards away before it flew over the A428 to rest in a stubble field by the junction with Lawford Heath Lane before flying off towards Lawford Heath and out of view. We moved on to Clayhill Lane in case any birders were around to give them a heads up but not a soul seen.
We then had a look at Lawford Heath managing 3 Corn Bunting by the cow pens of Rookery Hall Farm and 300 Lapwing in a field off Ling Lane but nothing of note amongst the gulls on the tip before arriving at Draycote Water with the sun encouraging the temperature up to a balmy -4.4c.
This cold spell has brought in a few more Teal, a sleeping party of 8 Shoveler off rainbow and Goosander increased to 11 males and 8 females. The male Smew spent most of the morning off farborough bank till flushed by a rescue boat and while searching for the Great-northern Diver I found a Slavonian Grebe off draycote bank. Also seen were 6 Meadow Pipit, 300 Canada Geese and 2 Grey Wagtail.
The catering unit was open so we thawed out under the influence of a bacon and egg butty and I was home in time to see 5 Fieldfare in the garden before going back again.
The second Great White Egret of the day was in a the tall trees behind Wormleighton Reservoir on arrival it then flew down to rest in adjacent field and also in the area were 50 Fieldfare, 60 Redwing, Lesser Redpoll, Raven, Kingfisher, 6 Goosander female, 5 Snipe Treecreeper, Willow Tit, Nuthatch and 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker while on the way back to the car 2 Corn Bunting and 16 Tree Sparrow were in the hedgerow of the disused railway line.
By the time we reached Calcutt 2 Barn Owls were already out hunting at 15:45pm and a Little Owl was on a farm shed roof just before the turning to Broadwell.
Apparently my Slavonian Grebe has been re-identified as a Black-necked Grebe by some observers so either they were both present or I need a new hobby – who cares – it’s never over till the fat duck sings.