I needed to go to the supermarket today, I didn't want to take the car so I walked.................via the lakes, well why not? I didn't expect to see lots of stuff and I wasn't far wrong.
I left the house after a short garden watch which produced a nice surprise in the shape of four jackdaws on the lawn, I've seen them flying over often enough but not dropping in , another effect of the weather I suppose. I walked through the open area of the country park in the hope that the stonechat would be about, but no luck. If they don't turn up here as they have for the previous two winters they could stay off the list for the year, I haven't seen them anywhere else down here in the last couple of years since I've been watching. Has anyone else? I forgot to say on the previous post that I saw a black rabbit here yesterday, needless to say he stuck out like a sore thumb in the snow! The only other note between here and the railway line was a great spotted woodpecker to add to the the year list.
Over the railway line and into virgin snow, no footprints, I quite like that, makes me feel like an explorer, how brave am I ?! The small unfrozen patch of Abbey Mead is even smaller now, I looked for the smew amongst the melee of duckers and divers but couldn't see it, that's not to say it wasn't there somewhere. I turned right at the river instead of left intending to walk along to the bottom of New Hythe lane and then up the lane to the supermarket. As I walked along the path with the narrow strip of woodland on my left a small troupe of long tailed tits started alighting in a small tree, I walked a few paces towards them to check if there was anything else among them and suddenly a woodcock flew out of the undergrowth and across the river. What a nice surprise, after seeing one on new years eve I thought I'd peaked too early for this year. The moral of the story is, always check the long tailed tit flocks, you never know what you might find!