I managed a midweek excursion to the patch on Wednesday (one benefit of working at home), frosty ground made it an ideal day to walk through the fields towards the Preceptory and back via High Chibburn and Druridge Farm.
A song thrush was on the path towards the hides and the usual selection of duck were on the big pool which remained unfrozen. Towards the Preceptory a handful of lapwing and golden plover were feeding in the pasture field - they sat tight as a peregrine passed over heading north, it was high so they probably did the right thing.
Down to the farm and a large flock of about 25 chaffinches where in the small copse with three coal tits - it's so unusual to see coal tits at this time of year at Druridge, they are normally just an autumn bird.
|One of the coal tits at the farm
In the hawthorns a robin sat out - my first of the year.
|Robin in the hawthorns
|Snowy track to the hides where song thrushes flew
As we walked to the farm, two skylark flew up calling, 'the cold weather has brought them in' I said to Janet.
|frozen fields with a flock of pink-feet flying over
In front of Druridge Farm at least 800 pink-footed geese grazed, a single greylag was the only exception. We cut through to the beach hoping for snow buntings which we didn't see but we did see five meadow pipits in the dunes - another species brought in by the cold.
With no home-working this week, it will be the weekend before I am back.. but the evenings are getting lighter now and some post-work birding isn't far off.