Took a break from visiting Overslade House and tried to catch up with some local birding with Dave looking for owls but the freezing fog and -12c put paid to that idea with only a Little Owl heard around Draycote Village.
Despite the poor visibility and the pond being officially closed we walked along cycle route 41 for some fresher air and it looks as if the place is completely frozen over. We could see two small stretches of open water with a few duck and coot on though there were over 60 Goosander flying around and a Bewick’s Swan calling but not seen. Also Raven over.
Luckily Lawford Heath was bathed in sunshine but as we arrived John Judge rang to say he had found a Bittern on his dog walking patch a couple of miles away and kindly agreed to stay with the bird while we raced over. The bird was 50 yards up stream from the footbridge from Lea Crescent, Newbold sitting among some vegetation in the middle of the river and showing well, a stunning find so well done John. Also Kingfisher seen while earlier John also had another new dog walking tick in the form of a Water Rail down stream from the bridge.
River Avon Newbold
Bittern digiscoped by John Judge
Once satisfied with our views we cleared off and searched the Church Lawford to Bilton area finding Little Owl, 12 Tree Sparrow, 14 Corn Bunting, 20+ Yellowhammer and 6 Buzzard but the best was 23 Pink-footed Geese Dave found flying low over Lawford Heath heading north west.
Early afternoon my garden feeders were heaving with female Brambling, 2 Redwing, Song Thrush, 3 Rook, 18 Chaffinch, Common Gull and 2 Coal Tit before I popped over to see the Waxwings in Hillmorton Rugby where at least 18 were feeding in Moat Farm Drive.
Steve Batt found a Waxwing near me in Alwyn Road today and had brief one in Lime Tree Avenue Christmas Eve.
Waxwing Alwyn Road Rugby by Steve Batt