Busy this morning so I had to make do with a quick walk around around this afternoon. The South Burn woods were a little more lively than on New Years day and produced Treecreeper, Greenfinch, Stock Dove, Reed Bunting and fly over Great Black backed Gull and Woodcock,. I continued walking over the fell flushing a couple of Grey Partridge as I approached Daisy Hill pools and getting both Curlew and Meadow Pipit flying over. 3 Common Snipe were flushed from the Typha (Reedmace) despite the pool being frozen and then a Green Woodpecker called. It was planned I would go back at this point but as I was doing quite well I thought I'd chance my luck and plod on to where I got Jack Snipe and Stonechat at the back end of last year. A Kestrel was perched up at the south end of the Fell Edge Wood and then the male Stonechat popped up within metres of where he was last year. My luck was in but I still didn't really expect to put the Jack Snipe up again after all this cold and deep snow, of which there were still some sizable patches and anyway it appeared all of the standing water is still frozen. But, most of the time I flush Jack Snipe is when I don't expect it. Though things were going good I really had my doubts as I could see the pool was completely frozen, and then at the stream coming from it which was running in a narrow but fast trickle, Jack himself!. The Jack Snipe was bouncing up and down as if on a spring, so I slowly put my bag down, got the zip open, put my hands on my camera and he was off. It went around the corner and more than likely landed but I'm not sure where and could not find him again. I could now go home a happy man.
Cutting across past the stables and onto Beany Lane where the local Nuthatches gave themselves up without too much trouble and where I also got my first Skylark and Mistle Thrush of the year. Heading back towards Chester Moor, a plaintive call made me look up just in time to see a flock of 25 Golden Plover flying over in V formation heading south. My final new bird of the day a Fieldfare in the hedge together with 5 Redwing.
19 new birds today making my Waldridge List 69.