At 8.30 thick mist or fog covered the fields but the snow had gone. The canal and smaller ditches remain iced over but it won't be long before they become open water once again. Possibly due to the poor visibility the amount of bird noise was incredible. Wigeon, redshanks and black-tailed godwits called incessantly. Blue tits and reed buntings called from the reeds and even two water rails sang. Maybe they were all celebrating the warmer weather and that they had survived. As the mist rolled back and forth I glimpsed a probable female marsh harrier flying towards Topsham at 9.45. ( Martin Elcoate's posting was most welcome and confirmed my suspicions).
A fisherman was fishing in one of the ice free pools on the canal. Probably because of this only a few (12) coot remained. The other pool only held 8 coot and no ducks.
Near the bend in the lane 3 water pipits were back on their favoured scrapes. Lots of skylarks flying overhead in the fog which finally dispersed about 10.00 revealing hundreds of wigeon and waders on the fields including one grey plover, 3 redshank and 21 dunlin.