After an apparent year's break, the Hawfinches are back in Bramfield village, showing quite well at times. As I have not been out for a while I decided to go there this morning, though with a quick visit to Amwell first thing.
It was a nice sunny morning, but with a nasty northerly breeze and there was a bit of ice here and there. I had hoped to see the Smew, as up to five have been seen recently, but they were not showing. Apparently two were present at the south end first thing, but had presumably done their usual trick and hid behind the main island. The Ravens which are back did not show for me either, though four different Red Kites were nice in the blue winter sky.
I walked up to Tumbling Bay but there were few ducks on it and there was nothing in the riverside trees either. Returning, I stopped at the James Hide feeders where one of the Marsh Tits was present, and one or two Siskins were in the Alders above me.
I left at 1030, arriving at Bramfield about twenty minutes later. There were a few rather disconsolate birders present in the Churchyard. Two hawfinches had been seen around 0830, with another very briefly some time after 1000. I wandered around for a bit checking some of the areas around the Rectory and had got to the south end when I saw someone waving-and being ignored by most of the others. He had seen bird fly out of the Rectory and into the Churchyard. I went in and found two Hawfinch in a bare oak in the adjacent garden with some Greenfinches. They soon flew off having only been seen by a few. About ten minutes later, while I was chatting to someone we realised that another had appeared in a low tree, before flying into a Yew to feed. Despite the difficulties in seeing it, most were able to get onto it and occasionally the views were pretty good. Unfortunately it eventually flew off and could not be located again. As I left, it or another had been found a little way up the road, before flying into one of the gardens.
Added a few other year ticks today, including several vocal Nuthatches, but its been over two months now since I last saw Collared Doves!