Having seen Beth off to school I had a full six hours of birding to look forward too. Struggling to find any Long-eared Owls this winter so I decided to check some favoured roost sites of the past. Unfortunately all four of them were devoid not only of owls but more or less everything, which led me to wonder if the presence of winter thrushes near these roosts has any direct correlation with the lack of owls. The old big roost at RV back in the late eighties also held 100's of Redwings and more recent roosts also had good numbers o roosting Redwings - until this winter. So before I find any Long-eared' I need to find a thrush roost.
Better luck was had on the Reserve when I managed to flush 35 Common Snipe and 3 Jack Snipe from juncus. A male Peregrine headed north and a pair of Bullfinch and a couple of Stock Doves made four new birds for the year bringing the self found list to 82. The long staying Brent Goose was still present on the new Orgreave Lagoons along with 36 Wigeon.
The nearby Waverley site has in recent years been excellent for Jack Snipe however many parts of it have now gone under the bulldozer and a walk through the boggy areas produced just one Common Snipe. Just before exiting the new Technology Park at Wavereley I caught a glimpse of a couple of Stonechats hardly typical industrial estate specimens! Further down the road and just past Morrisons I picked up a party of nine Waxwings just next to JTF. All in all not a bad winters day.