As I got home earlier than planned I decided to take a walk around the water park across the road from my home to see what was about. I started by the car park and checked out the Black-headed Gulls and soon found the regular wintering German ringed bird. This was the only ringed gull I could find among the 95 or so that were there although some stayed on the water and couldn't be checked. A few Coots also came for food including a ringed bird that turned out to one that had been ringed at Comeston Lakes, near Penarth, south of Cardiff (244km south) on 23rd December 2010. This Coot probably came from Orrell or somewhere else in the northwest originally and was forced to move south during the exceptionally cold weather that affected much of the country in December of that year.
|The regular German ringed Black-headed Gull|
I headed up to the feeding station in the reserve area next and while there were a reasonable number of birds at the feeders it was nowhere near as busy as it can be in a more typical winter. However there were at least 15 Chaffinches and 7 Greenfinches along with 2 cracking male Bramblings. This feeding station has always been good for Bramblings, especially in the second half of the winter, and usually gets 1 or 2 even in years when there are very few in the country.
|Both of these male Bramblings looked like they were adults.|
|I have seen Redpolls eating willowherb seeds before but it was interesting that this bird chose to do so even though the nearby alders still have a very good crop of seeds in their cones.|
|Water Rail photographed 20/01/16|