The morning after the night before, and I’m out in the garden with my custom made Snow-Ometer, it’s all very high tech but as you can see, it gives very accurate results…
… so after that experiment, I head out onto the roads, to gauge the slipperiness of the ice, all in the name of research you understand!
I can confirm that the A189, the Spine Road was, on a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being not slippery and 1 being “oh my god I’m going to die!”, a 5. I got along there no problem, not so the woman in front, who ploughed into the near side crash barriers.
I arrive at Cresswell, kit up and head for the hide (on the way down three Woodcock lift from the ditch) and on opening the shutters, I see this…
…and it stayed in the same place for 2 hours, and when it did go it just slinked off right into the reeds. The pond was 50% iced over with most of the duck hauled out on the far bank. Seven Red-breasted Merganser (5 drake) are all confused, they are in full display mode. Plenty of Teal and Wigeon, lesser numbers of Mallard and only a pair of Gadwall and a single Shoveler. Two Whooper Swans swim out of the reeds to be joined by three which flew in. Pink-footed Goose are heard but the flock is out of sight. A male Sparrowhawk catches a Starling but somehow it gets away and the spar flies off with no catch. I think these Magpie may have seen it before me,
So after the Bittern had gone, I head up to Druridge, stopping to try for the Twite. I did hear them but couldn’t see them.
Druridge had a canny flock of Goldfinch, with Siskin in with them
The water was down from my previous visit so I can get to the main pool. A Shoveler shows nicely…
… and a Wigeon whistles for the mic. The Wigeon were pairing up with Coot. The Coot were diving for the weed that they eat and the Wigeon were scavenging from the Coot, first time I’ve seen that!
On the way back along past Bell’s Farm some Pink-footed Geese are near enough to have a go for some pictures