Yesterday was wonderful, cold, blue skies and wonderful winter sunshine. It gave me the chance to really use the new camera, and I was pleased with the results as Ian and I spent a great day on the South Coast
What a difference this morning though, it had rained or maybe there had been sleet, in other parts of the country there was a dusting of snow. The temperature was just above freezing, and it was very damp and grey. The rain had stopped by mid morning, and rather than sit around Helen and I decided to go out for a walk. As we heaed along Brislands there were signs of the sleet returning.
The hedgerows were silent, not even a Robin singing, we headed down Brislands towards Manor Farm and the cow sheds.
As we passed the empty sheds a Grey Wagtail called, and then flew in front of us across the road and over onto the large puddles. I tried to get a view and the opportunity for a picture, but it was off again, this time over the sheds and out of view. It was here last year at about the same time I found my first one for the patch. Clearly they like the area around the cows.
As I searched for the wagtail I noticed in the field behind the sheds there were quite a few Fieldfare, their chuckles now able to be heard.
After giving up on the wagtail we headed down the road. I stopped to watch a Dunnock in the hedge and then became aware of the fact that the field was absolutely covered in Fieldfare. This picture shows a portion of the field and the number of birds. By taking blocks I estimated there must be at least 500, and probably more if I was honest.
As we reached the furthest point it started to rain, typical. We decided to carry on to Gilbert Street after holding up two tractors in the lane as we needed to find a passing place.
House Sparrows called from the hedgerows, and there was at least one Song Thrush singing. The rain had put a halt to any photographs.
Just before Swelling Hill starts to rise I heard a calling Firecrest in a holly bush, and could just make it out creeping through the branches. This is the first time I have heard or seen one here, and this was another welcome year tick on a very gloomy day.
There was no sign of the Mallard on the pond, and very little else as we walked quite firmlly home as the rain continued to fall. On a positive note we got some exercise, and also managed to see two birds that might have been difficult this year. On the negative note it was so disappointing the weather did not continue in the way it was yesterday. What a difference a day makes!