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WEATHER: clear sky but a bitterly cold northerly wind. Cloudy later but wind persisted all day.

Brrrr! It was cold first thing this morning as I left our flat at 6:30am. A howling wind swept around our building and hit me straight in the face as I turned the corner to walk up to the train station. The car park had a few birds feeding amongst the cars, I saw Common Starling, House Sparrow, Jackdaw and Carrion Crow. A Magpie sat in its usual tree on the corner and a couple of Goldfinches landed in someone’s garden.

I walked into the meadows and took the track that followed the stream northward, the wind in my face again. Luckily the meandering course of the stream and the dense vegetation gave me shelter for most of the time. It was quiet out there this morning, I saw very little except for birds flying overhead and those deep down in the scrub.

the pictures I took today were of Long-tailed Tailed Tits - these are fledglings that had just left the nest today

Rooks, Jackdaws, Crows, Herring gulls and Ravens all flew past me at some point, I also saw a Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blue & Great Tits, Chaffinch, Treecreeper and Mandarin Ducks. At the  Kingfisher nest site I climbed down the bank and sat at eye-level to the nest hole from about 20 meters. Nothing was happening at all, I waited 30 minutes and gave up, my hands were freezing.

One thing I did notice during my cold surveillance was a behaviour of a Treecreeper I had never witnessed before. The bird landed on a dead branch that stuck up out of the water, it then swooped down and took an insect off the surface of the water just like a hirundine would, amazing to see.

It was really quite sheltered along the banks of the River Yeo but even so it was still very quiet, not much activity and even the flock of sheep were sheltering elsewhere.

At the bramble slopes I watched for the Long-tailed Tits, they were feeding young 3 days ago when I last looked. Today all the chicks had just fledged and were huddled up together in the nearest bush. I bet they though that they were born in Siberia. The parents came to them with food every few minutes and they looked well fed.

Other birds seen around the brambles included: Robin, Wren, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Blackbird, Linnet and Goldfinch. A Stock flew over me and a flock of noisy Herring Gulls went up on the windy thermals. After watching the L T Tits for a while I decided to head home, I don’t like windy conditions and it looked like it was here to stay. The temperature did rise quire a bit by the time I got home.

Needless to say, there wasn’t too much happening in the meadow but I did add Red-legged Partridge to the day list and I saw grey Wagtail during the last part of the walk along the stream.