In an attempt to bolster the Upton year list I decided to spend about 7 hours at Upton from 11-5 to see what birds I could add to the list. It was a bitterly cold day but I managed to survive without frostbite!
Starting off in the West Hide only about 15% of the water was frozen and a few birds were showing around the feeders there included Blue, Great and Long tailed tits, Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Wren and Robin. Feeding around the bottom of the feeders were Coot, Moorehen, Mallard and Water Rail. Looking out to the pools there were a good number of Pochard (36) and lesser numbers of Shoveler and Tufted Duck. 72 Mallard were counted and 2 Shelduck were on one of the Islands, around 12 Curlew kept flying around, also several Lapwing and Coot. From this hide only 4 Teal could be seen as majority were on Amy's Marsh/Broadmeadow Pool . A few Fieldfare flew over and 26 Cormorant were rather active with birds seeming to be commuting between here and the Sailing Pool a lot. 2 Male Pheasant also flew along the fence line and down the Salwarpe.
Walking round to the North Moors hide noted a few Redwing along the path and heard a Water Rail. Didn't stay long in the hide as it was completely frozen still. Was going to walk round the North Moors trail as a Woodcock had been flushed from there the previous week but it had red tape over the two entrances and it looked like they'd been chopping down some trees so I headed towards the East Hide.
Walking towards the East hide I checked out the Alders/Larches there but couldn't find any Redpoll or Siskin. Just before the hide to the field behind it there was 2 Mistle Thrush, 2 Redwing and 2 Fieldfare. Once in the hide I could see the Coot were out grazing on the bank in front of it and several Snipe along the shore there but they were soon spooked by something that I couldn't figure out possible a fox behind the hide? Also noted from this hide were 4 Great Crested Grebe, 42 Teal! Invisible from the other hide and quite a few displaying which was nice. I was joined in the hide by Gert Corfield who told me that the Goshawk had been seen again this morning! Soon after a female Sparrowhawk flew past the hide temporarily getting the heart beating a little quicker! Also were a flock of around 15 Redpoll from across the pool and also c9 Greylag flew distantly onto the Sailing pool. Dave Walker then joined us in the Hide and had seen a Male Siskin further down the path so I set back off back down the path in an attempt to find it and I did. A lovely male showing down nice and closely feeding in an Alder then singing! Also 2 Lesser Redpoll were in the tree before flying off.
Walking back towards the West Hide I was going to go over to the Flashes but thought I'd hang around to try and get the Goshawk. Staying in this hide till near dark had a Cettis Warbler moving around in the reeds and a Rat was taking advantage of the bird food Gordon had put out earlier! Adam Canning who is a keen nature filmer was also in the hide and I spotted the Bittern flying across the pool which I quickly got Adam onto as he hadn't seen one before. Two Mute Swan dropped onto the pool as it was getting dark.
All in all 49 different species recorded taking my Upton year list up to 59.