Mud and ice and quite a lot of visitors stretching their legs along the Alt, but Lunt Meadows was as good a place to start as any.
Two Barn Owls at least (one patrolling to the south, the other up at the north end, where it hunted from the fenceposts), Water Rails squealing from cover, but wildfowl numbers were down because of the freeze up I guess, with Mallard and Teal, four Pochard and a scattering of Gadwall crowded around the few areas of open water.
At least three Common Buzzards up (of various hues), Kestrel and on the narrow strip of clear water on the north pool, three Goosanders (a male and two redheads) with a further redhead type flying down the Alt.
After admiring the Barn Owl up on the north end, a movement caught my eye in the dense brambles and rank vegetation below the bank and a tubby Cetti’s Warbler appeared, bog snorkelling through the rotting grasses before melting away again.
When you see them well, those greys and warm browns are really attractive – must get a proper pic one day.
The Cetti’s called a few times before it headed off into cover just to the north of the pumphouse.
A Raven croaked through and a single Golden Plover was overhead.
Despite the ice several group of Snipe were still on site and a Woodcock piled into the woodland disappearing into the branches.
I detoured to North Moss Lane on the way home, where three of Trops’ Cattle Egrets were still following the Aberdeen Angus, although with the herd two fields back, the birds were distant.
The others had probably already headed off to roost.
I took the hint.