The Safari did manage to get out to do the Winter Thrushes Survey, a little later than anticipated but we were waiting to see if there was any improvement in the weather - there wasn't, the wind was still howling and freezing cold. So we wrapped up warm and headed out to our 1km square wondering if we'd actually see anything. A couple of Fieldfares (NBPT #47), a couple of Redwings and a Mistle Thrush graced the very over-grazed horse field, a little later we saw an RSPCA van with an officer making notes sat inside. In the far distance a pair of Mute Swans (NBPT #48) sat on the pond by our vis migging spot at the railway bridge.On our survey route birds of any description were hard to come by let alone thrushes and many of our usual thrush 'hotspots' were birdless. In the end we counted just 17 Blackbirds and one Song Thrush.
At the half way point we broke off and had a wander over to the lake where we found nine Teal, a couple of Herons and not a lot else. The flock about 50 Black Headed Gulls held three ringed birds two ringed on the left leg, the other on the right but they were 'just' BTO type rings not Darviks so we couldn't get near enough to be able to read them. Further round a Sparrowhawk was perched in twigs overhanging the lake causing a a bit of consternation to the local Woodpigeons.
After sawing up another bag of wood we took Wifey and frank for a quick sprint round the big Park. Again the wind was a cruel icy blast. And again the smaller birds were keeping themselves well hidden. On the lake a good sized flock of gulls were enjoying the huge volumes of bread being thrown at them. Unfortunately the light and the wind were in the wrong direction for getting decent shots and this one of a splashy landing Black Headed Gull was the only one worth showing you, it's the only one of the sequence that you can actually see the bird's head.
Frank approached one of the farmyard type geese a bit too closely for its liking and it shooed him off with some fierce hissing.
Where to next? Back to Patch 2 to see if anything has been blown in, not the gales have been onshore!In the meantime let us know who's hissingly angry in your outback