First ice

An overnight dip to -3°C brought a skimming of ice to sheltered areas of water but the shorebirds seemed unperterbed by it and there are still five White-rumped Sandpipers, three Dunlin and a Greater Yellowlegs to enjoy for a bit longer, below is a snap from range which is as good as it gets at the moment. Because of the temperature drop I did a visible migration watch which turned out to be quite worthwhile. A Northern Grey Shrike was first to show, not moving but certainly watching. Next nine Bohemian Waxwings flew through, species 171 for the pits year. It looked like it might be an eagle day but it was not to be, or at least while I was there it wasn’t. I was starting to think about moving when first one then five more Pine Grosbeaks flew past me, nice to see at the pits again, #172.

With there being berry eaters about I went to check a few prime patches. Nothing there yet but there will be soon and they are nicely lit in the mornings, I feel a photo shoot coming on. On the way to the berry bushes I drove Montee Chenier, as much to see whether any American Pipits were lingering as anything as eBird has now started to flag them as rare. Sure enough five were still gleaning the Chicken dung. Nearbly the field that until recently held the American Golden Plovers was now home to a mobile flock of Snow Buntings, an estimated 250 but perhaps more, no longspurs though.

With a north-easterly event predicted for later in the week it will remain cold but we also might see a good passage of seaduck and birds of that ilk. It looks like the padded trousers and flask of hot chocolate are going to be required for at least the next five days.

Below a couple of photos, one showing that it is not just the birds that find the heat generated by Chicken dung welcome.

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