On Saturday afternoon we wandered down to Kirkstall Abbey stopping off at the Abbey House Museum Cafe for a mid-walk lunch which was delicious as ever. The park was uncharacteristically empty, covered with a layer of snow that had fallen in the early hours of Saturday morning. Following the curved path down towards the river a pair of Pied Wagtail bobbed around thawed patches of ground and 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker flew overhead.
On the River Aire were 6 Goosander, familiar winter visitors to this stretch of the river, a group of 4 upstream and a pair further downstream that eventually joined the main bunch. Whilst gazing along the river, a Kingfisher zipped upstream a metre or so from the near bank.
Suddenly the two Great Spotted Woodpecker re-appeared, noisily chasing each other from tree to tree.
The cold started to kick in so we headed back towards the Abbey, in the branches of a Sycamore a mixed group of small birds were feeding, comprising Blue Tit, Long Tail Tit, Dunnock, Chaffinch and the first time I've seen a Wren in such a group.
A Nuthatch flew into view and landed at the base of this trunk making its way upwards in a spiral motion.
As we were about to leave the park we spotted movement in a Yew tree situated at the boundary wall next to the gate. We counted approximately 8 birds, a mixed bunch of Thrush and Blackbirds were feeding on the berries, we managed a few pics and quickly left them in peace to continue feeding on the berries, no doubt a welcome source of food in these wintery conditions.