The warm sunlight has stirred a lot of the bird-life into singing, with Great and Blue Tit, Nuthatch, and Mistle Thrush adding the odd bit of song to the drumming of the Great Spotted Woodpeckers - 2 Nuthatch were noted and at least 7 Great Spotted Woodies were recorded. Birds were not the only living things thinking about the coming season however - the park's snowdrops look poised to bloom.
6 Green Woodpeckers were noted, several Siskin were spotted, 4 Skylark flew over, a Redwing was seen in a Holly along Laurel Walk, 2 Coal Tits were calling in the Yews by the Old Walled Garden, 4 Goldcrests were noted, 2 Bullfinch were heard, and bird of the day - a Crossbill was found along Laurel Walk halfway along the line of Larch and Wellingtonia - Crossbills have been a regular occurance in the park during the past 3 years but they are usually recorded in the autumn so this bird represents a first for this time of the year.
View of eastern stretch of Lake from Boating Ramps
My search around the wetland areas of the park were restricted due to the extensive flooding after the rain and melting snow over the previous few days. A Water Rail was seen briefly as it ran through the reeds to the east of the Boating Ramps, a Little Grebe was spotted by the flooded footbridge along the River Len, and 4 Grey Herons were seen.
Roughly a quarter of the Lake remains iced over and many of the Coots were observed wandering across the slippering surface. 1 Great Crested Grebe, at least 26 Pochard and 12 Tufted Duck were out on the water of the Lake, and 2 Mute Swan and 14 Canada Geese were gathered with most of the Mallard by the old Boating Ramps.