10th February

In altogether brighter conditions that took the edge off the chill just a little, fieldwork didn't seem quite such an uninviting prospect today. The list accrued was certainly more varied than in recent days even if the totals of cold weather immigrants remained very low, with the pick being 25 Golden Plovers, 7 Redwings, 4 Lapwings and 2 Snipe at the Bill and a Goosander at Ferrybridge. A Velvet Scoter through off the Bill was a first for the year, with 2 Red-throated Divers also through on the sea there and the usual singles of Merlin and Black Redstart still in residence on the land. The Rosy Starling was still at Easton, whilst Ferrybridge chipped in with the Black Brant amongst the standard fare.

Goosander and Smew were always the duo of scarce wildfowl that you'd go out expecting to see during cold spells of old; the former, like this morning's nice drake through Ferrybridge, does still turn up but the latter has become an almost mythical rarity around here these days © Pete Saunders:

The Black Brant - or hybrid or whatever it is - made another of its occasional visits to Ferrybridge © Pete Saunders:

The Mediterranean Gull blizzard was - as it always is - an impressive spectacle at Ferrybridge. When they were scarcities many, many years ago it seemed as though they hated low temperatures and always vacated the Weymouth area as soon as an icy spell set in; as well as acquiring some sort of population explosion gene they also seem to run on anti-freeze these days © Pete Saunders:

The Bill Black Redstart this morning © Geoff Orton: