Nothing like an afternoon stroke around Felbrigg Park to blow out the Christmas cobwebs – made more enjoyable by the company of my youngest son Jake and youngest grandson, Noah. We saw very little, except an obliging Nuthatch at Park Farm, until that is we got to the track between Keeper’s Lodge and the lake. A Marsh Tit was in it’s usual spot by the kissing gate, in the distance a Great Spot was calling and then a burst of activity to our right as a Woodcock, being pursued by a Buzzard, flew through the canopy and was eventually lost to view somewhere near the Weaver’s Way. This is my first Woodcock of the winter, though I know Pete & Sue Morrison flushed one at the beginning of November. As we approached the lake a Little Egret flapped over the rough grazing field towards Scarrow Beck and the resident Little Owl was hunched up on a branch in it’s usual ivy covered tree. On Felbrigg Lake itself the three Goldeneye remain with a dozen Tufted Duck, twenty or so Gadwall and the usual Mallards and single Coot. However, the Mute Swan ‘family from hell’ appear to have lost one of their ‘polish’ youngsters – certainly there were only seven birds present, with no sign of any on the flooded water meadow. On our way back up the lane a flock of about forty Linnet were gathered in the tall ash tree. Not a bad haul on rather a dark, cold and damp afternoon.