The weather put paid to any formal birding this weekend. Pouring with rain yesterday afternoon, blowing a gale this morning. Yesterday morning we were sorting sheep, bringing the New Year lambing ewes off the marsh for feeding and taking the rams out from the rest. The rams separated out from their ewes remarkably easily. They were so busy bickering amongst themselves about who was top dog that they didn't notice that the objects of their bickering had moved on. I dislike birding in gales so despite the sunshine I spent much of today sorting out the vegetable garden after the ravages of summer. However the advantage of living here is that despite the above tasks you can still amass a reasonable bird list without trying. Yesterday, 3 Marsh Harriers, Barn Owl, a distant Peregrine perched on the pylons towards Haddiscoe Island and a Kingfisher flashing past. Today, Buzzard, 2 Barn Owls, Siskin and a flock of 30 Goldfinches. Even 10 minutes outside before work on Friday produced 7 Fieldfare, 1 Redwing and a Bullfinch.
Today I declared war on the local squirrels. Our dog Blossom does her best to keep squirrels off the feeders in the back garden but to the detriment of scaring off all the ground feeding birds. I decided to trial setting up an additional feeding station in another more sheltered part of the garden which Blossom can't get to. I made the mistake of buying plastic feeders. These lasted 2 days. I replaced them and forked out on metal Squirrel Guardian cages but these only prolonged the life of the feeders by 5 days. Fed up with squirrels chomping through feeders and large quantities of expensive bird food, there was nothing for it but to get out the squirrel traps. Within 4 hours there was one less (very fat) squirrel in the garden.
Meanwhile here's a photo of the first Jay to learn how to feed from a feeder (taken through double glazing, hence worse even than the usual).