Wildfowl numbers have been much lower so far this winter, at Moor Green Lakes, Berks, probably due to the mild weather, throughout most of Europe. However other winter visitors seem to be more abundant, than in previous years which is odd.
On the 4th, I was at Moor Green Lakes, watching a flock of a hundred or so Lesser Redpoll, feeding on weed seeds. After being disturbed they flew into some small trees nearby with a few Chaffinch. A few seconds later, they flew back to where they had come from and settled back feeding. This left just one bird behind in the trees, which at first I thought was a Chaffinch, but looking at it through binoculars, confirmed it as a female Brambling, the first I had seen here for two years. The Redpoll flock was also bigger than I had seen here before.
Throughout the month, Fieldfare and Redwing have been seen on most days, whereas last winter I saw very few Fieldfare.
On the 21st, I had great views of a Peregrine at Moor Green Lakes, mobbing two Red Kites. Time and again the Peregrine would dive at them and the Red Kites in defence would turn over at the last moment to show their talons to the tormentor. Eventually the Red Kites decided to retreat from the immediate area, leaving the Peregrine in peace.
On the 23rd, a female Goldeneye was at Moor Green Lakes, which was a bit of a surprise, as in the last few years only a male bird has overwintered here, which has returned again, so it was a bonus to see them together on the lakes.
Lastly, for those that celebrate it, I wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful New Year.