|Mild weather and a lot of birds at Paxton Pits.|
Last summer was a great one for Arctic lemming populations and and for the predators that feed on them. Good lemming years may also benefit ground nesting birds because the predators might home in on the lemmings rather then their chicks. The result locally has been an unusually high number of sightings of short-eared owls, hen harriers and rough legged buzzards, but not at Paxton, yet. You can monitor what's being seen locally by going to the Cambridge Bird Club site. They have some amazing photos on their site too.
The December bird here at Paxton Pits is a solitary corn bunting that is hanging out with over 100 yellow hammers on the arable fields by the road leading up to the works. Jamie Wells from the RSPB has been feeding them some waste seed to keep them there, but you need patience. It's definitely a bird for my New Year's list.
Speaking of New Year; don't forget to come along to our annual Winter Wildlife event on January 1st. We start at 10 am with tours departing from the Visitors' Centre at 10.30 and 2.00 pm. Experts will be on hand in the hides and there will be hot soup and refreshments waiting for you when you return after your walk.
My special sponsored twitch starts at 10.30. It's free and you don't need to book, but I'm asking for you to pay 10p for each species that we see. I reckon this could cost you 5 pounds at the most but we have seen 57 species just from the hide on a previous New Year's Day.
The weather forecast isn't good and the track is quite muddy so I recommend that you wear wellies and warm, dull coloured clothing. Don't forget your binoculars either.
Wouldn't it be great if we saw a smew?