The weather is not exactly brilliant at the moment, especially if you're a bird photographer. In fact it's been a pretty rubbish 'winter' for photography!
The only sunny afternoon last week was spent at Old Lodge Nature Reserve. Quite a bit of bird activity although I didn't manage to spot woodlark, the great grey shrike (which remains a species I have yet to see for the first time) nor the Dartford warbler that a lucky birder had watched the previous day.
But as you know, I don't desperately "need" a new or rare species to enjoy my day out birding. I'm happy to watch any bird.
There was a lovely fieldfare (or probably more but I only spotted the one) and I managed a shot that is much better than my previous 'record' shot of this beautiful winter thrush.
There were three bullfinches - two males and a female - in the same bush but they weren't willing to pose for a photo.
We saw robin, blackbird, chaffinch, great spotted woodpecker, siskin, crow and - to my suprise - a flock of at least 10 reed buntings.
I watched plenty of goldcrests feeding, along with coal tit, blue tit and great tit.
20+ redpolls (mostly lessers but I am fairly certain I spotted a couple of mealies) were very active flying from tree to tree, feeding and taking off again. Lovely!
On the way back to the car, I spotted two or three crossbill with a beautiful male on the look-out.
What I enjoyed the most was listening to numerous coal tits and great tits singing their little hearts out. Spring has officially arrived!