Having been unable to sleep much last night I was up before dawn. Amazingly after yesterdays weather the skies had cleared so I decided to head out to Barbury Castle at first light to see if there were any Owls about and to check out Finch Corner. No Owls were seen but an early Buzzard and Kestrel were keeping three Roe Deer and a Hare company. Arriving at Finch Corner I got out of the car to put some food out for the birds. Having run out of seed all I had been able to find at home was a piece of bread and a chocolate muffin. So out on the posts they went and I settled down to watch. almost straight away Blue Tits and a Robin came to feed as did a Chaffinch. There were a few Bramblings about but didn’t seem to be tempted by the goodies I had offered. Greenfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Great Tit were the next visitors but still the Bramblings resisted as did the Yellowhammers. A Pheasant appeared and took some crumbs from below the posts. Magpies and Blackbirds also didn’t join in.
Soon the rain returned so I left at around half-eight after a fairly successful visit. Later on in the morning, as I needed to visit the Cotswold shop my wife and I took the dog to the Water Park for a walk. We parked at Kent End where I noticed a planning application has been posted for a cable ski facility. Looks like another good lake is going to be lost for birding. From here we walked along the road to lake 82 hoping to get a picture of the Diver. The Diver was the only bird on the water and was still spending a good bit of time under the surface although we didn’t see it catch any Crayfish. Other birds noted here were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Reed Bunting and Redwing. We then walked through Ashton Keynes and back to Kent End. More Skylarks here along with Tufties, Pochard, Little Grebe and my first Wiltshire Greylags of the year! Final stop was Lower Moor where we enjoyed our lunch at a picnic table on the reserve. Not bad for a showery day in February. Very Quiet here with only Bullfinch, Redwing and Grey Wagtail of any note in off the water and just Mute Swans, Mallard, Cormorant and Herons on it. The two Herons went up to a tree together, potentially a nest site although maybe a bit late for this year already. A Fox was walking on the bank between the lakes. Also seen was what I think is Marsh Marigold which shouldn’t be flowering until March.