As the ice finally relinquishes its grip on the area bird numbers are gradually increasing, particulary wildfowl. A good selection of species were seen today.
Hardwick Hall CP
The lake is now about 70% ice free and although some birds have departed there are some new arrivals.
33 Mute Swan, 10+ Gadwall, 4 Goldeneye (1male3female), 12 Pochard, good numbers of Mallard, Tufted Duck & Coot.
Also seen in the grounds were a Sparrowhawk, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 12+ Redwing, Jay and a mixed flock of Goldfinch and Lesser Redpoll numbering about 40 birds.
Birds seen between the CP and Castle Lake included Grey Heron, Common Buzzard (this individual had many feathers missing from the right wing), Kestrel, Goldcrest, Jay, Lesser Redpoll and a singing Bullfinch.
Along the bridleway 4 Willow Tit were seen including three together near Fishburn Lake.
Wildfowl numbers continue to increase especially Mallard, Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon, Coot and today's highlight, a pair of Pintail.
Others included 2 Pochard, 10 Redshank, the Green Sandpiper still and 30 Stock Dove.
Grey Heron, 2 Common Buzzard, 26 Curlew, 6 Fieldfare and 14 Magpie.
Stoneybeck Lake (with thanks to John Olley)
single Whooper Swan
(Somewhat surprisingly today's Lesser Redpoll are this observers first in the Bishop Middleham area, taking my total number of species seen to 130)