29 January 2012. Rather a late start as we had friends who stayed over, and we wanted to ensure they enjoyed a cooked breakfast. I also spent an hour recording garden birds for the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch. Ironically, the bird of the day, a Blackcap, appeared just after the allotted time had elapsed. Anyway, I met Dave Scanlan on site, and we trudged round. The flash field had frozen overnight and so there were no Lapwings or water birds there. We did see a Green Sandpiper in the dragonfly ponds near Netherstead farm, but the main feature of the day was an opportunity to estimate the large flocks of Finches etc now present. The Chaffinch flock was about 200, which equals my previous highest winter estimate, Linnets totalled 400 or so (about half the number we recorded last winter), there was an impressive 40 Yellowhammers (no Corn Bunting), about 25 Reed Buntings, and at least 12 Tree Sparrows. We also watched a Brown Hare lolloping towards us along the path, only becoming aware of us about 20 yards away, at which point it turned tail.
I should probably add that yesterday's Corn Bunting was my 133rd species for the patch, and number 62 for the year.