There has been a noticeable increase in the amount of fieldfares and redwings on the reserve today. A large flock, at least 70 fieldfares and c50 redwings, were joined on Sandy Ridge by c30 meadow pipits, 2 mistle thrush and smaller numbers of finches. At the hide, four lesser redpolls were on the feeders, a rare occurrence this year!
We are hoping that the weather will be fine this weekend, as we have Steve Kershaw coming to demonstrate his amazing nature art at The Lodge on Sunday. Let's hope the sun is shining and the wind is calm, then Steve will be set up at the Visitor Centre to show you his latest work, with the theme of resident and migrant birds.
After yesterday's deluge, there were times today when it almost felt like summer. The reserve has been full of families, many doing the woodpecker trail, and several groups have come back from their walk to sit outside on the picnic tables eating ice-creams!
A few early bees were also out in the warmth- probably the solitary bee Andrena clarkella. A big surprise for Kathy, one of our volunteers who was walking on a nearby farm at Clifton in Bedfordshire today, was seeing a grass snake on the side of the path! That is quite amazing in February.
On Sunday, a small flock of redpolls did appear around The Gatehouse and the new heath, along with a small number of siskins, but we've had no reports since then. A woodcock flew across the new heath mid-afternoon and the feeders are still just as busy with tits and finches feeding. We keep looking for that brambling to appear- but not yet!