It’s been dull and dreary at the pond.
Not as windy or as cold as yesterday with Gadwall, Goldeneye and Goosander numbers increasing from yesterdays count - 11 Gadwall, 35 Goldeneye and 28 Goosander present but no sign of the female Smew while the male was still off farborough bank and the pair of Scaup by the inlet.
The finch flock held 14 Brambling otherwise we saw very little and after chatting to Paul and Martin on hensborough bank we had just reached the sailing club when Paul rang to say the male Merlin had re-appeared in the Leam Valley and he had found a Stonechat so we about turned and legged it to rainbow where the Stonechat was performing – a female. Unfortunately the Merlin must have visited the Brambling as they had disappeared for the day and the only other bit of excitement was the unconfirmed report of Shag but all we could find was a small continental race immature Cormorant. Only other birds of note were 3 Golden Plover and 4 Long-tailed Tit.
A late afternoon look at Napton Reservoir produced a first winter Med Gull in the pre-roost among the Common Gull before they all left for the pond while Calcutt had 2 Barn Owl and a Woodcock at dusk.
Both Tree Sparrow and Corn Bunting were seen on Lawford Heath by Paul & Martin as they headed home.