Well, with January behind me (37 species – after a recount) it’s time to start on February …. but before getting down to todays trouvailles, just have a look at this European Starling that came to the feeders this weekend. Who needs tropical birds for spectacular colour – this has to be one of the most gorgeous birds on the planet.

So – off to the flatlands again for winter open-country birds. A nice flock of Snow Buntings were browsing the fields …

….. before flying off a few yards twittering to each other. Perhaps one of the stars of winter birding.

What we were really after however, were Lapland Longspurs which we eventually found in a couple of small flocks – in this first flock they has some Snow Bunting along for the ride.

Then a well placed group of Longspurs had the decency to pose nicely for the camera – no doubt about the ID at all.

Finally – the Snowy Owl again – not new for the year but new for the month.

Off to a good start.