The ground was heavy following the snow , but with the added rain , it was atrocious . I felt really sorry for the horses in the paddocks , almost up to their knees in water and mud . As they moved around , there was a slurping sound as they pulled each hoof out of the quagmire . The most obvious change to the bird population was the number of Gulls . They were in good numbers last time , but this time I estimated 300/400 mixed Black Headed and Common feeding amongst the horses , then , all as one rising noisily into the air , moving to another part of the farm for a short while , then all rising and moving again . Also in lager numbers were the Corvids , with Jackdaws mixed in with the Carrion Crows and the Magpies . The Woodpigeon numbers were pretty much constant with my last visit .
As I headed down towards the manure heap and the log piles , the female Stonechat was still in the same area , as were the good number of Pied Wagtails . Each horse seemed to have a pair following it around . The scrubby trees behind the log pile held the mixed Goldfinch/Chaffinch/Greenfinch flock .
Winter Thrushes were in smaller numbers , with only 10/15 Redwings and just 6 Fieldfares , the latter resting atop a large Oak before flying off 'chak-chaking' as they went .
On arrival at the Trout Fishery , all the white geese , the 'Bitsers' and the Mallards were all in the corner by the gate . Perhaps they were waiting for the person to feed them . Then on the bank by itself I noticed the bird I thought perhaps was an Egyptian Goose . I quickly got a few shots of it before it joined the others in the water . I still think it is a bit iffy , but it is obviously mainly that breed . The iffy Grey Lag type was consorting with the white geese , which is probably how it got that white mask .
Everything else was as before , except that the 2 female and 1 male Tufted Ducks are now 2 female and 3 males . 4 are paired up and the odd male is on his own . I wonder if he was theone with a smile on his face last visit ? The field directly below the lake held 10 Moorhen and 3 Rabbits , and the field beyond that , 4 Canada Geese and a lot more Gulls .
On the return to the car , I picked up the Skylark flock numbering about 15 , and also found the Linnet flock numbering 15/20 , feeding close by .As I approached the stile , I found this Pied Wagtail having a wash and brush up in one of the many puddles .