Keen to check out the Horsefield today as a contact had told me that he had flushed two woodcock here yesterday, I set out on a bright crisp morning. There were plentiful sunny spells and temperatures of just over freezing with still a keen easterly wind. The ground was more frozen this morning after a cold night, making for easier going in some places. There was plenty of bird activitiy in the woodland burial ground; mostly common species but I was pleased to have good views of two redwing feeding on the ground. The goldfinches were busy in the alders again today and it was pleasant to stand and watch them for a while without the frustration of trying to photograph them.
I left the cemetery by the crematorium gate once more but instead of crossing Peaks Parkway I made my way along the narrow path behind the allotments to the Horsefield. Here I had a thorough search for woodcock but sadly to no avail. I did come across my first skylark of the year, although skulking on the ground sheltering from the searing wind rather than cascading its song down from on high.
Heading back over the barley stubble, now under-planted with oil seed rape I came across a goodly flock of yellowhammers with some reed buntings in feeding on old barley seed.
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