Although the arctic climate has not delivered snow to the East Midlands in the same quantities as elsewhere, the temperature has remained well below zero so we decided to give the birds a chance to have breakfast and we met at 9:00.
It turned out to be a beautiful morning, and despite the late start we managed 50 birds in the sunshine and still packed up soon after 12. However, variety was not on the menu and generally not many birds were flying about.
Scores were (retrap + new): Great Tit 3+4, Blue Tit 4+9, Yellowhammer 12 new, Chaffinch 6+1, Willow Tit 1 retrap, Dunnock 2+5 (3 of the retraps were 2-4 yo, perhaps suggesting adults go to surefire food source in harsh weather) and 1 new Tree Sparrow. Best was probably an elderly female Chaffinch, first caught nearly six years ago.
Also noted were about 25 Lapwing, a few large flocks of Wood Pigeon, a few small flocks of Fieldfares and Redwings and the odd Skylark. Lastly, one Lesser Spotted Ringer in winter plumage. NB - contrast in the upper lip is not indicative of a first year. Quite the opposite in fact.