Apart from a brief outing to East Chevington on Monday, I did little more than look at birds in the garden and tend to our wildlife pond.
I renewed a few pond plants. I managed to find Brooklime at the new pond section at Peter Barratts. I have been looking for it in vain in the local garden centres for the last few years. I have got rid of Duckweed (for the time being), but am fighting a losing battle against algae; hoping that the growing tadpoles will help. I need some snails and more algae chomping water beetles!
We have had several young male Blackbirds around our garden all winter and we still have at least four visiting regularly, in addition to two pairs whose territory seems to meet at our fence. They all got on fine a couple of months ago, but on occasion recently it's been all out war.
We still have small flocks of Greenfinches visiting the feeders, but the males are becoming noticeably territorial. Visits from Goldfinches have been sporadic since last autumn, with an almost total absence since Christmas, but a resumption has occurred in the last week, with three visiting together regularly.
Time will tell if our box, in its second year, has attracted its first family. Our garden is seldom without a Great, Blue or Coal Tit, but I realise that the close presence of feeders and attendant visitors can put birds off using a box. It's one of those with a choice of hole size. It's had a Blue Tit hole since it was put up in the winter of 2010/11 and I may try the bigger hole next Winter if it remains empty this year.
Our trip to Chevington produced fourteen Sandwich Terns and one Chiffchaff. No Martins or Swallows and I don't blame them, it was quite cold!
One Merganser seemed to have two females. Good numbers of Gadwall, as reported elsewhere and a smattering of Tufties. At least four female Goldeneyes, but only two males in view.
No sign of the special birds, but we only viewed the south pool for five minutes or so.
I had contemplated a visit to the Durham Dales next Saturday, after dropping my beloved off at an engagement in Hexham, but I have just been asked to be Dad's taxi. Oh well!