The first WeBS walk of 2014 turned out to be a wet one with heavy rain throughout. Thankfully, however, the 2 members of the Chesterfield RSPB Group who came along (many thanks!), soldiered on and managed some reasonable numbers, given the conditions.
Birds seen were: Mallard (76), Coot (12), Moorhen (6), Mandarin Duck (13), Black-headed Gull (5), Cormorant (2), Tufted Duck (60) Goosander (1 male). Unfortunately, due to the awful weather, there weren't any records of the Crossbills this week, but a report on the Sheffield Bird Study Group website of 38 from earlier in the week was very good. A Woodcock was also reported on 19th January on this website, the first record of the year.
I didn't walk around this month, but instead, put together 7 new tit boxes with Gillian, the DCC ranger and Noel from the RSPB Group. I'm going to get them up in the half term holidays to replace the open-fronted boxes that have never been used in the 7 years they've been in place! Come April time, hopefully these boxes will be used by the resident Blue and Great Tits, or, if we're very lucky, by Pied Flycatcher. Whatever happens, I'll record the details for the BTO's Nest Record Scheme ring any pulli and keep the blog updated.