A dusting of snow on Winter Hill

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A seriously refreshing evening in the Legless Arms (you know it’s a good ‘un, when you can almost persuade the guys to think about a trip to Antarctica – until they see the slightly truncated list that is) meant I was, ahem, a bit slow out of the traps today.
Bitterly cold obviously with 40+ Tufted Duck, Shoveler and 11 Gadwall hunched up under the branches at Sands Lake before I headed out onto Plex mid-afternoon.
A dusting of snow powdered Winter Hill in the distance and the air felt icy.

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I spent an hour or so watching the Fieldfare flock as the light faded – about 50 birds with smaller numbers of Redwing, Mistle Thrush, 5 Pied Wagtails and 1 Grey Wag which foraged around the puddles of a soggy ploughed field.
The Fieldfare were as wild and skittish as ever – spending much of their time gorging on berries before dropping down into the field to rummage.
No amount of car gymnastics could help me get anything other than poor digiscoped shots – that superdeluxe bridge camera seems like a better idea every day!

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A small party of five Whooper Swans called as they circled over the moss – there was a herd of about 60 on the fields between Carr Moss Lane and Segars Lane a bit later on.
An incredible combination of cold and sound that’s impossible for me to describe in words, but so, so Whooper, so winter.
Just one or two Mipits, Buzzards and Corn Buntings as the light went, and as I headed back over Carr Moss, a fine hunting Short Eared Owl being hassled by a Kestrel.
Not many Pinks about though.
Trip to the bird fair at Martin Mere tomorrow I think…