A brief respite from the snowy conditions, whilst remaining cold gave me the opportunity to get around the village on several occasions, ticking off regular patch birds for the new year list. Nothing particularly noteworthy until, bang. On the 17th I headed out in icy conditions to the irrigation lake near Hadham Hall. It was partially iced and I immediately clocked my 100th bird species for the parish: a pair of wigeon.
On the 11th I headed off to Kent for a day at Dungeness before heading to Sandwich Bay bird obs where I was booked to give a presentation on my local patch. At Dunge, I ticked great white egret and great northern diver, along with regular auks and seabirds. After staying the night at the bird obs, I birded the beach with Ian the warden, ticking snow bunting and dartford warbler.
Moth wise: pale brindled beauty, winter moth and this spring usher were the only trapees at my Skinner trap in the garden.
The weather remained frequently snowy as February began. On the 8th I came across my first grey wagtail of the year just 200 yards from home, on the banks of the River Ash. Also, a check on the irrigation lagoon some 2 miles away gave views of both the barn owls that remained at this roost throughout the winter.
My first Norfolk visit of the year was on the 18th, recording a pleasing 87 species for the day which boosted my year list to 120 by the end of the month. At Titchwell beach there had been a particularly high tide and consequently 10,000's of razorfish had been washed up. This offered a great opportunity for some decent wader shots. Here, knot and sanderling, with, also, a particularly fine little egret.
This photo taken at Titchwell on the 18th Feb.
A month where we continued to have light smatterings of snow, but plenty of warmer days and nights. I spent the whole month checking the parish for first signs of spring and was rewarded with a few good birds, although nothing new for the village list. I completed over 9 survey days, covering the whole parish.
On the 15th I got only my 2nd record of lapwing, with a solitary bird over, heading to Amwell perhaps. Also, these 2 yellowhammers got onto the village year list.