The sunshine has been warm enough this weekend to be felt uncomfortably through my multiple layers, but still it snowed for the first time this year. It wasn't 'snowman, sled and skiing', flaky snow, more the round polystyrene crumbs that fall gently and vanish into their own puddles as they collide with the earth. Mostly though the weather has been appreciably brighter... my camera's faster exposure readings a give-away to the increase in available light.
The garden has been the most pleasing part of the patch this week. When I woke this-morning, the lawn was covered in birds feeding on the seeds the fussy tree sparrows discard in favour of millet. The cold weather often brings unusual birds to the garden; I was pleased with a stock dove, a dozen yellowhammers and as many tree sparrows.
Out on the river in Thrintoft things continue to be quiet. I've not seen kingfisher or egret this week, but was pleased to find green sandpiper so close to home. A black-backed gull flew over, but I couldn't discern which species it was for the patch-list.
At the ox-bow lake the finch flock is starting to dwindle away, as are my hopes of finding a brambling stowing away with the chaffinches. Beside the water, the moorhens call to one another more frequently and the wren acts as sentry, preventing my sneaking up on the teal.
At the north of the patch, the fields still hold some flood-water and there were golden plover and lapwing out in great number. A huge lesser black backed gull stood proudly in a puddle, compensating a little for my earlier identification failure.
Buntings and buzzard are especially numerous this year.