The winter is back with vengeance after a couple of days of slightly above freezing temperatures. On the surface Aldcliffe looked beautiful, clear blue skies under an inch or so of snow and frozen pools. Look a bit deeper and it's a fight for survival. It was bloody brass monkey weather, and I felt it for those birds and animals desperately trying to stay alive in this record breaking cold spell. There were large sheets of ice floating down the river, the banks frozen.
A Skylark was about near the sewage works along with a pair of Grey Wagtails. The main highlight was the influx of thrushes, with Blackbird numbers as usual, but there was a good couple of hundred Fieldfare and Redwing between the cutting and Wildfowlers’ Pools. Also a pair of Song Thrush and a Mistle Thrush made their presence known. I haven't noticed any unusual behaviour as yet, the cold reminded me of last winter when Dan and I had a Song Thrush literally by our feet, no doubt the poor thing was starving to death. Today, however, the birds, what there was, were as twitchy as ever.
On the river I saw a good few hundred Wigeon, a few Swans, Curlew and Redshank. Unsurprisingly there were two groups of people who had taken it upon themselves, and dogs, to walk across the marsh so no geese to be seen!
Freeman's Pools were lifeless bar a few Woodpigeons in the trees. The dead copse nearby has all but disappeared, only one tree standing, a shame as that small area attracted quite a few birds, including Kestrel.