Ol' white cheeks is back

Another hard frost last night and plenty of Blackbirds in the garden feeding on the windfall apples that I've scatted around the place. It was nice to see the return of on instantly recognisable male blackbird with white cheek/neck feathers that we'd ringed last winter. There were at least 19 Goldfinches and six Lesser Redpolls but no sign of the large grey first winter male I had yesterday afternoon - it was bigger and bulkier than the Goldfinch it was next to and had very grey plumage tones - as good a candidate for a Mealy as any.

A quick trip to Rishton Reservoir this morning for the WeBS count found the reservoir virtually totally frozen over with just a small puddle in front of the yacht club. John Metcalf was there and told me of 150 Lapwing and five Curlew that were put up by a group of three shooters - here we go again! There were six Tufties on the small patch of water along with a single immature Mute Swan, a few Coot and Mallard and a few Gulls of various denominations.

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