After a surprisingly hard frost and some mist this morning the day soon became quite warm and sunny, with not a cloud in the sky. Within an hour of arriving at the reserve at 7.30 in frost and mist the day had changed to warm and the frost had all disappeared. I spent a part of the visit this morning walking round some of the neighbouring farmland and enjoying hearing several singing Chaffinches along the hedgerows as they staked out their territories. One thing that was particually striking as I came round the edge of a field of winter corn, looking quite beautiful and green in the sunlight, was the number of harriers that were about. I seemed to have them drifting aimlessly by me as common as crows for much of the walk and was particually impressed by a lovely ringtail Hen Harrier that came past low to the ground and within a hundred yards of me. At one stage I was able to count eight Marsh Harriers in view all at the same time.
The picture below shows Harty marshes in all their frozen glory as I came over the top of Capel Hill on my way to the reserve.
Also on Capel Hill were these sheep, just three weeks away from lambing. You can see the green, un-frozen patch alongside one where it has just got up from its night's slumbers.
A scewered Golden Plover. I found this plastic decoy a few years ago in a corner of the reserve and imagine it must be a left over from by-gone shooting times. It stands outside the reserve barn.
These five Brent Geese allowed me to get within 80 yrds of them, unfortunately my little camera couldn't do them justice but I have a new one arriving today which will hopefully allow me to zoom in much closer.
A camera shy Midge who was determined not to smile for the camera.
I found this Lords and Ladies along the base of one of the farmland hedgerows.
Another disappointing photo which hopefully when enlarged will show a Little Egret and Grey Heron alongside each other along one of the marsh ditch banks.