The snow that fell on friday night left a few centimetres on Morpeth. An Oystercatcher was feeding on a bit of greenery under a tree opposite the house and still two Goosanders on the Wansbeck in the town centre. The partially melted snow from yesterday froze overnight and at dawn this morning the temperature was -4.5. I started at the frozen wastes of Pegswood moor. The sunken lake was frozen and of note here were 64 meadow pipit and a similar number of Fieldfares.
Next stop Linton and a walk through the north woodland produced little except for two Snipe. Most of the two ponds were frozen but the west pool had plenty of wildfowl including 158 Teal and 6 Shoveler twirling phalarope like; I'm not sure if this is a feeding frenzy or some kind of courtship ritual. A flock of about 700 Wood pigeon flew SE over the pond.
Homeward bound, I chatted briefly to Stef Mac checking the gull flock for the Newbiggin white winged rarity but no joy here and rare visitor who had been watching Tree sparrows at Ulgham. Longhirst flash was totally frozen and birdless and local fields held large numbers of Gulls and Rooks.
Last stop Bothal. Most of the pond frozen with most of the wildfowl on the south east corner. Plenty variety with 144 Wigeon. Highlight were 2 Tree Sparrows that showed interest in the nest boxes in the trees. I took my life in my hands negotiating the steep Bothal bank swathed in black ice on my way home!
Above pics of a snowy Morpeth common and Bennyboy enjoying some ice, Tree sparrow at Bothal and a Wren in my garden.