A dusk walk around my patch produced patchwork gold in the shape, or rather sound, of a Water Rail skulking in the still semi-open water in an alder wood. This is not a bird I've noted before on patch so it was a real bonus for my patchwork challenge list. Also seen were 3 Woodcock, Buzzard and Barn Owl.
Barn Owls have been very evident locally as they desperately try to find food on the snow covered ground. I had one by the A143 on the way in to work this morning just outside Bradwell, a place I've never seen one before. I also had 2 on the way home from work and another 2 on the school run this afternoon. The thaw couldn't come a moment too soon.
At least a Kestrel on the marsh had some luck with hunting when I watched one sat on a post enthusiastically plucking fur from a small rodent before eating it.
The cold weather is pushing the Rooks into the garden now. Although they nest overlooking the garden, they rarely venture in to the garden itself unlike the Jackdaws but the ample free food particularly at the chicken feeder is drawing them in. We still have 3 Reed Buntings at the feeders, Blackbirds have peaked at 14 together in the back garden and a Fieldfare has taken to plucking the tiny black berries from the privet hedge bordering our patio. Surprisingly, still no Bramblings in the garden