Updated: Jul 1, 2018
Paul the Manager returned to
" My first visit to Newchurch in a while, fine and dry but breezy at times.
The female Smew was again on Sandiway Big Pool, out in the centre feeding and pretty elusive. 20(7fem) Shovelers equalled my highest count and a pair of Teal were still present. Winter wildfowl numbers were down with only 6 Gadwall and 32 Wigeon (20 on Big Pool, 12 on Small Pool). Good news (one one hand) from DEFRA today, the dead Mute Swan was not a victim of Bird Flu but was severely emaciated with a high gut parasite load and succumbed during the freezing weather of the 'Beast from the East'.
The set-aside is now fully ploughed and there were no finches in that area at all, the end of the Brambling bonanza for this winter I'm afraid. A Green Woodpecker was present though and a nice Siskin showed well in Finch Hedge with the usual Bullfinches. A Raven flew over cronking again and a couple of Lapwings were in fields to the easty of Pine Belt."