This morning I decided to head up to the far norther parts of Hertfordshire, in the hope of picking up a few year ticks.
The Ashwell area has a reputation for birds that are now hard to find in the county. The manure heap near Newnham is one of the hot spots so I headed there. Compared to yesterday is was rather dull and cool-maximum temperature was a rather low 8 degrees. First bird I heard was a Corn Bunting, one of four singing in the hedges, followed by numerous Skylarks. Scanning the bare field opposite, I found several Skylarks running around and then a Wheatear-finally. There has still only been one this year at Norton, and last year wasn't great there either. A sharp call alerted me to a Yellow Wagtail closely followed by another in a tree.
I then headed off to Coombe Road, stopping at the top of the road. Plenty of sheep in the fields to the east, but no thrushes, and a slow drive down past the farm did not produce any either. Guess the Fieldfare and Ring Ouzels had departed. Few raptors here-one Buzzard and a Kestrel.
Deadmans Hill was my final destination. Heard at least two Corn Buntings here, saw a pair of Grey Partridge and a couple of Blackbirds in the hedge. A female Kestrel perched in a small tree was a bit far away. The cold breeze seems to have kept things a bit quiet, and I wasn't enjoying it either so after 20 minutes I came home.