The old year slips away, leaving some stunning wildlife memories at Langford Lowfields.

Record numbers of people have been flocking in to enjoy the spectacle and to see a very varied range of birds, mammals and even some insects, as the year draws to a close.

The usual winter birds are here in good numbers and among the big birds were 10 whooper swans and 3 pink-footed geese.  You cannot miss those and the smaller bearded tits have become more visible with 6 being seen on several occasions.

Even the smallest birds are unmissable if there are enough of them, and we’ve had 50 brambling, 22 redpoll and murmurations of up to 10,000 starlings  Awesome sights!

The unusual birds have been turning a few heads as well.  Early in November a great northern diver turned up and it liked it so much that it has stayed.  One was a good result, but it was recently joined by another and so we now have 2 great northern divers fishing in the deep water lakes.

Great northern diver, photo Joe Harris, RSPB site manager

Another first for Langford was 2 ring-necked ducks, and they have stayed for Christmas, arousing great interest.

My favourite was definitely a group of ridiculous, low flying Christmas decorations, when a group of 3 ring-necked parakeets dropped in for Christmas dinner in our seed crop field.  Even Scrooge would have to smile.

And finally on New Year’s Eve, a peacock butterfly took to the air in the weak winter sunshine.  The ludicrously warm December weather is a disaster for animals which ought to be hibernating, but it was a nice note on which to end the year.

So what will 2022 bring?  Call in and have a look.  There’s always something to smile about at Langford Lowfields.