The menacing weather maps failed to materialize, and the morning was bright if cold, haunted by the Marshlink klaxon, swept in on a freezing northerly wind. On the hill, Common Gulls marched among broken snowmen while mirrors of meltwater on the marsh kept waders widely scattered, Lapwings mingling with noisy Starling flocks. Both north and south, the higher ridges are white.
I encountered one flock of 17 Magpies, others were carrying sticks
Thereâ€™s less song now from thrushes - theyâ€™re foraging with Blackbirds at the foot of hedgerows.
Black-headed Gulls in summer plumage at the Pannel scrape stretched their necks and squawked, but mostly slept, while Teal swam in excited piping circles.
I found only 2 Skylarks, neither singing, and no pipits at all.
With numbers swollen by the cold weather, a dense mass of c650 Wigeon was grazing behind the pools. Flocks of 50 were also at the Pannel Scrape and at the Smugglersâ€™ End pond.
Another group of 9 has remained for weeks quite independent from the main flock, preferring to feed close to the gaggle of Mallards and farmyard oddities that loiter by the gate, hoping for handouts of bread.
Thereâ€™s also a misfit Canada Goose that prefers the company of Coots.
In the background, the Slavonian Grebe was preening.
2 Whitefronts are still with the 50 Greylags and a new flock of 14 Brents was trundling around the pasture.
About 200 Common Scoters were out to sea and at least 6 Velvets visible when they flew up, but there seemed to be few GC Grebes. Cold hands and streaming eyes donâ€™t help, but I commend the new EA Shingle Mountain, from whose shelter the sea can be inspected in sunny comfort.
A pair of Stonechats and a Green Sandpiper and a Little Egret were at the back of the marsh and a Siskin flew over.
A Chiffchaff flitting round the base of alders in a waterlogged wood might have been a migrant or perhaps the bird which was reported here a few weeks ago.