Dave Dawson’s natural history notes for 18th January 2016:-
Finally, five shovellers feeding on the lake. The 13 Pochards feeding on the lake were the third highest count in the last 30 years, so the increase of this species seems to be continuing. This species is red-listed because of declining breeding numbers and wintering numbers have also declined, so it’s great that we have seen an increase. Swans numbered 39 on the lake plus three seen flying off as I arrived. Still the second highest January count over the last 30 years. Coot numbers normally begin to decline in January, but at 100 are well below last year’s figure of 190. Still the second highest January count after 2014. So, there’s some evidence that there’s less attraction for them on the lake this year. The departure of Canada Geese to breed elsewhere has begun, with 60 birds right on the long-term January average numbers. Those who say this species is increasing are wrong. It’s the Egyptian and Greylag geese that have increased greatly in the last 15 years. It’s too early to tell, but neither seems to still be increasing. The recent arrival of winter weather after a long mild wet spell has stopped most flowers, but the Dog’s Mercury patch in Horse Close Wood, purple-leafed Cherry-plums by the downstream brook and some daffodils are out. Song Thrushes were quieter, but one sang in Horse Close Wood. Great-spotted Woodpeckers were drumming in both woods. Laurestine and winter berries are still to be seen. Numbers of Redwings were flying over, but I saw none feeding on fruit, just Blackbirds on Ivy berries.