A trip to the patch revealed a big wader influx, no doubt due to the cold weather as it was only 3 degrees C. The tide was out but the good seeing conditions produced large bar-tailed godwit numbers, c.700 plus c.4000 knot and more dunlin, maybe 5-6000. On the plots the SEO was cruising about but it seemed quiet there except for the odd reed bunting and chaffinch etc. Opposite the Sportsman about 900 golden plovers were resting.
Another visit to SS and birds were of similar numbers, c.1000 barwits, and c.5000 each of knot and dunlin. I then headed up to Bossenden finding the usual tits, treecreepers, goldcrest and a fine male lesser spotted woodpecker.
Down on the plots birding was quiet, cold, ice on all the puddles but the dykes were ice free where 30 teal were settled. On the football field there were a couple of skylarks plus lots of lapwings.
A sunny and cold morning, only 1 deg and an intensive walk around the plots with my lucky mascot produced 5 new month ticks inc., blackcap, water rail, snipe, shoveler and lesser black-backed gull also 2 SEOs were flying around along with stonechats and goldfinches. I scoped 74 seals on Horse Sands and on the sea a dozen gadwall plus lots of barwits closer in on the mud.
PM. I went to Kemsley to see the c.30000 starling spectacular. When I got home took a photo of the moon.
Down to SS again, this time the dykes were frozen over, the poor kingfisher diving in at the end of the outfall to find food. C.1000 dunlin were up and down the shore plus three or four sanderling and out on the sea 2 red-throated divers. I then went up to the woods again hoping for firecrest which I hadn't seen yet. Luck was with me and I saw 1-2 birds plus goldcrests, treecreepers, coal, marsh, grt. blue and long-tailed tits plus nuthatches, however, no decent photos except for one poor coal tit that may have contracted avian pox?