The Safari struggled to make any headway on the broken heater on Wifey's car this morning. It was cold lying on the ground with our head twisted round at a jaunty angle in the passenger footwell. Couldn't get anywhere near the necessary wiring loom though...seems like the whole car was built around the heater motor and the only way to get at it is to remove the glove box which has the internal fuse box built into it - nightmare...gonna be expensive!Between us we did did have good bash at the log pile as Wifey wielded the chainsaw with gusto and in a couple of hours we had cut enough to half fill the log store.
After a superb brunch of a full English complete with a fluffy 'tatty-scone' - just right for mopping up a thick runny yolk! - we were 'allowed' to nip out for a session at the nature reserve.
We never got further than the Fylde Bird Club hide. A Water Rail hung around the reed fringe waiting for an opportunity at a goose carcass that was being hogged by a pair of Moorhens. In the reeds a Cetti's Warbler was heard calling frequently and even seen darting across the gap between banks of reed. At one point it almost gave itself up for a pic...but flitted across the gap again a fraction of a second before we pressed the shutter.
Most of the mere was frozen and the majority of the ducks were roosting on the ice; 53 Wigeon, 550+ Teal, 16 Gadwall, seven Shoveler, we didn't count the 50 or so Mallards nor the 50+ Coots, there were no diving ducks which was a little disappointing as the Ring Necked Duck has reappeared not far away and we had hoped that its favoured pool had frozen and it had relocated here again like last year - but where has it been in the last 11 1/2 months?
Not too many gulls, most 'exciting' were two Black Headed Gulls wearing BTO rings, unreadable at the range though.
Out in the field some sheep have appeared and there was a secondhand report of a Hen Harrier. Otherwise it was just three Stock Doves and a gaggle of Starlings, late on 11 Linnets flew past to roost while several thousand Starlings headed to the coast as dusk fell. We didn't stay quite long enough for the Little Owls to pop up out of their barn and we bottled out of waiting for the Bittern (if indeed there is one on site).
Our toes got pretty cold but just before we called it a day the Iceland Gull put in a mysterious brief appearance we saw it leave but never saw it arrive and at the time it was the only gull on site?!? It's lost either P8 or 9 on its right wing somewhere along the line.
Where to next? Has the wintery weather, of which we haven't had any, brought in anything new to Patch 2?
In the meantime let us know what materialised from nowhere in your outback.
Sorry no pics today...dang Cetti's Warbler, and everything else was too far away due to the frozen conditions.