Spent all day out today, starting on the Flats, finishing in the Park. To quickly pick up from yesterday, the news is that we had a Stonechat. No sign today at all, even though I gave it some time, so the presumption is that it is a bird moving through. This makes the most sense, a wintering bird would have turned up in, well, winter, and much as I'd like to see them breed here, I doubt it will happen.
Hot news instead was of a Yellowhammer near the Cat & Dog pond early this morning. By the time I turned up after the school run I hadn't much hope, but remarkably as I approached I could hear the distinctive "chirp chirp" call from somewhere ahead. Try as I might, I just couldn't see the bird though. Turns out it was in the the long grass, rather than perched up anywhere, so I inadvertently flushed it whilst heading towards a distant hawthorn. A male, possibly adult, though it didn't seem especially bright. The bird was extremely flighty, and after trying to get close enough for a decent shot several times, I was forced to give up. An excellent bird for this area, presumably moving through just like the Stonechat.
I spent the rest of the morning on the Flats, mainly the western section, though the birding was tough. Best of the bunch were a couple of Redwing in Long Wood, some Redpolls in the SSSI, and a Coal Tit near Centre Road. The hoped-for Buzzard did not drift over, and so after lunch I moved to the Park. This was even quieter than the Flats, and I couldn't find Lesser Spotted Woodpecker or the Water Rail. Nonetheless very pleasant, and it felt very much like spring, with Long-tailed Tits flying about with nesting material, and some Coots already sitting.
Not long to go 'til Wheatears....