It was a good thing I got a few pictures yesterday as today was definitely not one for photography. The reserve was misty, at best, for the whole day and despite the thaw, evidenced by the dripping trees, it felt cold.
Setting off to open up the hides I flushed a woodcock from beside the store. A Cetti's warbler was calling at the Ivy North hide, I listened out for the bearded tit but without success. I decided to take the Ellingham Lake path back to the Centre and as I went along the boardwalk beyond the Ivy South hide a water rail shot out from below my feet. Checking Ellingham Lake and Pound it was evident that the smew had moved on and that the Pound had iced up quite noticeably.
Later in the morning I was at the store when I heard crossbill calls, there were two or three birds but try as I might I could not find them, they were circling about somewhere by the pines near the water treatment works. They did eventually fly overhead but still I could not pick them out in the murk.
I was working in the main car park in the afternoon building up the dead hedges. A look from the Tern hide revealed little apart from at least 2 white-fronted goose with the greylag flock. As the mist became fog the greenfinch gathered to roost, at one stage all collected in a tall poplar with a male kestrel. I estimated at least 250 finches, my largest count so far this winter.
We hope to do a wildfowl count tomorrow, although we will need to be able to at least see the water if we are to succeed.