There are thirty fieldfares on the south-facing slopes of grassland by the Obelisk Gate at Nostell. Redwings sometimes join them but today they’re amongst the trees nearer the house, probably attracted by holly and yew berries. Also on the parkland slopes, there are more mistle thrushes than we’d normally expect to see together: at least a dozen in total.
The open parkland is white with frost so parties of wood pigeons are gathering on the sheltered rings of leaf litter beneath oaks and beeches.
The resident family of mute swans and the local mallards have gathered on a small patch of open water on the sunny side of the iced-over Lower Lake.
The drumming of a great-spotted woodpecker on a tree in the Pleasure Grounds carries well in frosty air, as does the manic laughing ‘yaffle’ call of a green woodpecker in Top Wood.