It was -4c when I set off today to check on the local patch. All but one pond at Toad Holes Beck were totally frozen. The pond in question is the large pond which had a thin layer of ice and an open area near the Reedmace. There was very little on the ponds but then on the middle small pond I got a glimpsed a flash of white deep in the reeds. I waited for about 10 minutes then a very wary Water Rail came creeping out of the reeds.
A good sighting which is a possible annual winter visitor to the site. However, the kind of sad thing is that it the Water Rail is a very secret bird and probably the reason it showed it’s self so much is it was searching for food in the harsh conditions