MONDAY 6 DECEMBER
After a relatively balmy weekend when temperatures rose to a heady 5 degrees C and melted all the lying snow, the freeze returned with a vengeance today and a combination of freezing fog and overnight frost left many areas a ghostly white. All day the temperatures remained below freezing.
I spent the morning searching the Amersham Recording Area for Waxwings but failed in my quest; none even at the Beacon Sports Centre in Beaconsfield.
I then decided to chance my arm at the Amwell gull roost but that was paltry too - and bitterly cold........
AMWELL NATURE RESERVE (HERTS)
(with Phil Ball fresh in overnight from India!)
I arrived at 1400 hours and stuck it out until 1600 hours, by which time I was virtually frozen stiff.
There was no sign of any Bitterns, Cetti's Warblers or Mealy Redpolls and not much in the way of open water. The following birds were noted -:
Just 3 Great Crested Grebes, 1 Little Egret, 27 Sinensis Cormorants, 9 Mute Swans, 112 Gadwall, just 5 Eurasian Wigeon, 12 Common Teal on the ice, a pair of NORTHERN PINTAIL, 15 Shoveler, 38 Tufted Duck, 5 Northern Pochard, 3 female Red-crested Pochard on Hollycross Lake, 8 Common Goldeneye (including one drake), 3 SMEWS (including a fabulous adult drake), 3 Lapwing, 1 Common Snipe, 106 Coot, 15 Moorhens at the feeding area, 2 WATER RAILS on the ice, Jay, 1,500 Jackdaws south to roost, 12 Common Blackbirds, 1 Song Thrush, 2 Chaffinch, 1 Siskin, 2 Lesser Redpoll and a Goldcrest.
A fairly paltry pre-roost gull gathering on the ice but including 118 Common Gulls, 11 adult Great Black-backed Gulls, just 13 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 71 Herring Gulls (virtually all Argentatus) and 400+ Black-headed Gulls.