This morning was a balmy -2c and climbing compared to yesterdays numbing -13c on the Nene Washes as Dave and I trawled the Grandborough Valley this morning. The highlights were a brock Badger caught in the car headlights at Woolscott for 2 minutes, Tawny Owl near Willoughby, 8 Buzzard loafing on telegraph poles, 6 Tree Sparrow on the Basaely smallholding (no sign of Thursdays Jack Snipe) and 6 Kestrels.
Visibility at the pond wasn’t brilliant while we walked out to farborough spit though there was an obvious increase in Gadwll (35), Pochard (130) and Goldeneye (45) numbers since my last visit. Other birds of note included a Buzzard feeding on a dead gull on the island, 2 adult Yellow-legged Gull among the many gulls post roosting on the frozen surface of toft and parts of biggen bay, 20 + Linnet and 10+ Goosander.
Biggest surprise of the day was at Brandon Marsh where a Red Admiral fluttered past us chased by Dunnocks just after we had missed a Bittern by seconds (many thanks for the heads up Conservation Team) while a wander around the west and east marsh produced 5 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 2 Marsh Tit, 2 Goldcrest, Green Sandpiper and at least 8 Jays. The feeding station by the visitors centre produced 2 Coal Tit and 2 Nuthatch.
On our way home there were at least 80 + swans in two groups at Bretford but traffic flow did not allow us a closer inspection and afternoon visitors to my garden included Rook, Yellowhammer and Common Gull.