Lade - cool, dry, sunny, light airs - At last a dry day with plenty of sunshine and no wind, perfect for birding. This morning we checked the lakes where the Goldeneye was still present amongst c2,500 wildfowl. Cetti`s Warblers and Water Rails were particularly vocal around the willow swamp where a Firecrest was noted at the back of a tit flock. Several Marsh Harriers hunted the fields behind the `mirrors` along with Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk.
This evening we tramped across the shingle for a stake out at the north end of Mockmill in glorious setting sunlight. After chatting to BD (who`d seen the Long-eared Owl on the bird reserve this afternoon) we soon settled down in our usual spot to scan the flatlands. A Short-eared Owl quartered the rough grassland, occasionally pausing to perch and listen for prey from fence posts; and for once unaccompanied by corvids. What splendid birds they are, I don't reckon I`ll ever tire of watching them. It soon drifted out of sight and as the sun dipped beyond the horizon along came the Marsh Harriers, 7 in total heading towards the bird reserve to roost. Over a 1,000 corvids raced overhead, mostly Jackdaws, along with a flock of 300 Starlings, a straggle of Woodpigeons and 2 Little Egrets. A terrific end to a stunning winters day.