Out with Chris for nine and half hours in a bitterly cold wind doing the Grandborough Valley, Draycote Water, Napton on the Hill and Brandon Marsh but very little return for the effort we put in.
No Barn owls seen in the valley this morning but we managed 3 Raven, 25 Linnets and plenty of winter thrushes while Draycote Water had the 2 female Common Scoter and fly over Golden Plover. Interestingly there were 5 Goldcrest by visitor centre, the Great-crested Grebe flock has increased to 150 so may be we are due for a rare grebe and 28 Pochard counted sheltering under draycote bank.
Next stop Napton on the Hill but a single Raven, Sparrowhawk and more winter thrushes was all that was on offer though the scenic value was tremendous despite the wind chill.
Brandon Marsh had Nuthatch and 2 Lesser Redpoll including one watched bathing by the visitor centre as we had a welcome coffee but when we walked into east marsh hide we were informed we had just dipped on a fly over Short-eared owl (this could be a different bird to the one on sheep field although it wasn’t showing tonight), Water Rail showed a couple of times but I failed to get convincing views of the Jack Snipe among the 42 Snipe present on willow island. Other birds noted were Treecreeper, 3 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Jay, 2 Kingfisher, 25 Siskin, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard.
And if I thought it was cold today – wait till tomorrow – a predicted wind chill between -2 & -6c