A day off for Christmas shopping was partly disrupted by an urge to go alookin' for Siskins. Jumpin' cold, but with no wind it was glorious, and the frost stayed all day in shaded places.
This Jackdaw looked like his wings were frosted too, but it's just a set of white feathers which give a spectacular flash when it flies.
First stop was Seaton pits, where gulls, ducks and geese huddled together on the few patches of open water surrounded by ice. Some flew up when a couple of Marsh Harriers flew over low, but soon returned to the pool. If there was a Smew in there somewhere I didn't see it.
Then to Stodmarsh, where each of the many alders was carefully scanned for Siskins.....
...and they were finally found along the main path - a flock of about 40 (counted when a passing Sparrowhawk flushed them from the trees).
I had a good chat with John Cantello while Siskins, Treecreepers, LT Tits, a Goldcrest and a Great Spotted Pecker fed nearby. He said that he had heard a few Redpolls among them.
While watching the Siskins a Water Rail squealed nearby, but didn't show itself.