I took a walk around the reserve yesterday and it was hard to think we are still in January. Great tits, robins, goldcrests and even a mistle thrush were singing, the snowdrops are coming up and it felt just too mild for a winters day. I noticed that the temperature at 8pm last night was around 10 degrees!
I bumped into the volunteers working on the top of the old heath. From here, views open up across the Ivel Valley and the vols told me they had seen 2 litte egrets flying up from the valley and across the reserve. I later found out that a red kite soared low right over them, just a couple of minutes after I left. The large flock of fieldfares were back on Sandy Ridge, I estimated around 400, with a similar number of starlings amongst them and good numbers of chaffinch and greenfinch, with a few goldfinches as well.The pair of ravens have also been very active over the last week, and their distinctive cronking calls are becoming a regular sound at The Lodge now.
This weekend it's the RSPB BIG Garden Birdwatch,so make sure you put aside an hour to count the birds that visit your garden, This year it will be very interesting to see the effects that the mild winter is having on our birds, We've had lots of reports of birds investigating nest boxes already! it's just as important to let us know if you see very few or even no birds during your count.
There's lots more information on the Big Garden Birdwatch; www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch