Woke up feeling particularly rough this morning. No alcohol involved, which made it worse than ever. Felt like I'd been sedated and then had some sadistic bastard running heavy grade sandpaper up and down my throat all night. So I decided that getting up and and out in the extreme sub-zero conditions was not happening for a good few hours and went back to bed with a cuppa like a big jess.
After filling up the feeders (yet again) and putting out more mealworms and sultanas, I eventually I headed out to complete some domestic chores in readiness for Dad's Taxi duties this afternoon/evening ferrying various offspring to different parties. Whilst out, I dropped in to Jubilee Park for an hour.
We had no further snow over night, but it was extremely cold (car dash still read -5.5degC on the driveway when I headed out at 11am, but settled at -2.5degC after 20 minutes of driving). The big pool is frozen solid as expected, so the only wildfowl aside from the hoards of grazing Canada's was on the free-flowing River Soar - 7 pairs of Mallards, a drake Teal and 2 females, and 11 Mute Swans spread out (5 adults, 6 juvs). Also a single Snipe on the river bank (nice) and a Kingfisher flashed past.
The northern third of the park is a big open grassed area, but in the southern areas there are islands of mature trees with big scrubby areas. I don't normally pay too much attention to these, but today they were busy with lots of common passerines actively searching for food amongst the osiers, ash, alders etc and weedy bits.
Nothing extraordinary, but at least 6 Reed Buntings in there was a nice change. Also a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers and one Green Woodpecker, and a male Kestrel showing extremely well high up in a tree eating a small rodent - or at least it was until it noticed me watching it and it buggered of with it's meal. Despite the plentiful alders around the site no Siskins or Redpolls sadly.
The garden feeders have remained busy - managed a peak count of 18 Goldfinches at one time though as last year the Greenfinches seem to be dwindling. Aside from the existing sunflower hearts, nut feeder and suet-slab thing, I also picked up a cage feeder with some large fat balls yesterday at the local farm shop. This has been doing well with tits hanging off of them almost constantly - no sign of yesterday's Coal Tit though whilst I've been watching. Avoiding the feeders, but a welcome sight anyway was 4 male Bullfinches together on the embankment.
ps: just got home a few minutes ago (17:35) after transferring Josh from one party to another - car dash reads -7degC already, what's it going to be overnight ........