Took a leisurely walk around the parish this afternoon – a few things of interest in the two hours I was out. Today’s birding ‘hot-spot’ was between the back gate to the park and the footbridge – Great Spotted Woodpecker sharing the same oak stump with two Nuthatch, a mixed tit flock including a single Marsh and, nearby, three Bullfinch. Levels on the water meadow continue to rise but bizarrely the number of birds continues to fall – only five Teal and a dozen Moorhen. On Felbrigg Lake seven Tufted Duck, 17 Gadwall and lone female Goldeneye and Wigeon. ‘Nil of note’ in the rough grazing field below the dam – just a single Meadow Pipit and a Hare. I walked slowly through the woods at Common Plantation, partly to see if I could repeat the spectacular sighting of Tawny Owl from the other day – no such luck, but also to see if I could find Woodcock, which so far have evaded me this winter – again no luck. Pete & Sue Morrison had one at the beginning of November in the park, so I can’t imagine where they’re hiding (away from the guns of course!). Around the maize shelter-belt towards the cross there was an impressive flock of 50-60 Linnets and up to four Common Buzzard circling over Gresham. A couple of Skylarks were feeding in the weedy margins of the loke as I returned to the village. As we enter the birding lull over Christmas and New Year my mind has begun to contemplate what interesting things lie ahead in 2015 – time to squeeze in a couple more new species before then though I hope!