The final class of last week and the first of this week took place at the same location. There was quite a difference in the amount of ice remaining on the marshes, with much less present today. However, the winding road to the reserve was in a very slippery state this morning. The bird of the day each time was the redhead Smew, but there were 2 present today. Another star bird on Friday was the single drake Pintail, but we couldn't locate it today. The Mistle Thrushes were singing on the reserve, as were plenty of Coal Tits. Great Spotted Woodpeckers were present both days, and there were plenty of Bramblings around the feeders. 3 Buzzards were seen on Friday with 2 seen today, but all the Cormorants have been driven off the reserve by the intense cold, and they haven't yet returned. There was a flock of c20 Redwings on both days and c30 Siskins on Friday, but today we could only locate isolated individuals. Friday was a standard grey January day, which we've almost come to expect in 2011, but today was glorious. The Hedgehog was out all day on Friday, which was not a good sign, and if it had been there today it would have been taken into care, but hopefully it managed to put on enough weight to get through the remainder of its hibernation, and we couldn't see it anywhere.
Also included above is the hybrid Lesser Scaup at Hatfield Moor and a new visitor to the garden. The female Blackcap was first sighted on Sunday morning, and now seems to have become a permanent fixture. I hope she survives the winter & gets back to Germany before all her compatriots who didn't put their towels down on their sun loungers!!