Left the house while it was still snowing this morning and arrived at the pond at first light to the sight of over 15,000 gulls still present and managed to locate 4 adult and 3 first winter Yellow-legged Gulls among them along with a good local count of 340 Greater Black-backed Gulls.
Highlight of the visit was a Waxwing that flew over farborough spit followed by an impressive 58 going over the hide in toft bay heading towards Thurlaston village where they were seen in the tree tops before dispersing. Other new arrivals were 3 Oystercatcher in grays barn, 5 Dunlin on farborough spit and a male Smew off the pontoons (arrived yesterday).
Cold weather movements included 150 Golden Plover from three flocks heading west, 1200 Wood Pigeon south and 600 Fieldfare and 200 Redwing in fields between Thurlaston and Dunchurch.
Still plenty of finch activity behind the inlet with 23 Brambling, 2 Tree Sparrow and 3 Corn Bunting scoped among the many Linnets and Chaffinch.
Also present were Little Owl in alpaca field, 37 Goosander, 5 Shoveler, 174 Wigeon, 135 Teal, 12 Siskin, 7 Green Woodpecker, Great-spotted Woodpecker, 225 Great-crested Grebe and 2 Buzzard.
Cycling was difficult in the freshly lying snow but checked out the valley for Steve Bs male Hen Harrier he found yesterday near Toft Lakes and though it had probably long gone a day flying Barn Owl and Short-eared Owl in the same field made up for it. Also around were 12 Tree Sparrow
Back at the pond for the roost with the wind chill at -7c managing first winter Iceland and Glaucous Gulls in a very large roost estimated at 40,000 birds. Both birds came in very late.
Journey home was a nightmare as roads and pavements have started freezing over and its going to drop big time tonight – my garden is showing -5 and sheltered.
Many thanks to Kev, Pete and Cath for comments