The birding got off to a good start at least today when I spotted female/immature Merlin over the fields near the A456. The bird flew across the road right in front of me, continuing it's low passage over the field to the left. It's not my first of the year, but it's the first sighting I have reported on the blog.
With my mood boosted, I came over all "goodwill to all men", and befitting that festive time, when it's more about giving than receiving, I even extend that to some baggies. So on a whim, I phoned JK to see if he was coming out to play, and with the answer in the affirmative, I collected him on the way to the Wyre.
It was another dismal day, with little light and the constant threat of rain. As we left the car we met a couple of Birders who reported it was "pretty dead" ( as The Wyre can be at times ), however we pushed on, ever the optimists.
Within a few minutes walking we had picked up on Nuthatch and a pair of Greater Spotted Woodpecker's, the first of quite a few. The next notable sighting was 4 flyover calling Lesser Redpolls, a species I had not even seen this winter, seemingly low in numbers in my part of the county.Thankfully 2 were seen later on perched up, much more satisfying. Then at last, a 2012 Wyre Marsh Tit ! all sightings are gratefully received of this locally diminishing species.
So, finally, the highlight of the foray, a stunning male Hawfinch showed after a patient couple of hours. The bird showed well for a few minutes, and we later connected very briefly with 2 other birds. But the first bird was a show stopper, despite the poor light it showed up much better in the optics that the camera. Been nearly 2 years since I had last seen one, but well worth the wait. The video is the best that could be managed, given the lack of light and relative angle to the sky, but it acted as a more satisfying record that a grainy picture.A very enjoyable late December bit of birding