The first WeBS count of 2015 took place this weekend. Mandy from the Chesterfield RSPB Group carried out the count on Saturday. and Jayne and I added a few sightings on the Sunday. The weather on both days was near perfect conditions of cols (2 degrees), dry, bright, sunny weather, with a covering of snow on the Sunday.
This month's count (a combination of both visits) was as follows: Mallard (105), Coot (5), Moorhen (12), Little Grebe (1), Mandarin Duck (11), Black-headed Gull (42), Tufted Duck (20), Goosander (1m), Grey Heron (2) and Cormorant (2, including one in breeding plumage).
The Little Grebe is particularly good, as this is the first record at Linacre in 2015 (thanks Mandy). This species didn't breed at Linacre last year, so hopefully, this returning bird is a sign of good things to come.
The woodland was quite quiet, but all the usual suspects were recorded with the exception of Siskin. Siskins are normally present at Linacre throughout the winter period, but so far this year, there haven't been any records. I haven't had any in the garden this winter either, which again is unusual.
One bird that was reported at Linacre via the DOS Website last week was Brambling. Again, this isn't a common bird here, and this was our first record of 2015.