Came downstairs this morning,to see this poor little chap dead on garden path.No prizes for guessing what caused its demise and it wasn't the cold.Any help with identification would be appreciated as my 1st observers book of birds i not much help.
This is a Pipit, and I think it's most likely a Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis. The hind claw is long, the outer tail feathers are white. The Tree Pipit is similar, but the hind claw is shorter, it is a slightly larger bird and it returns in the UK to breed in April, while the Meadow Pipit can be found here all year round.
The winter kills many birds, so I'm not surprised you found this one.
Thanks for sharing.
If you know a taxidermist, you may give her/him the bird to get it naturalised. It may be too late if the tissues have started to decay after the bird's death. The skin can be very fragile and the feathers will fall freely. You can also pull the major feathers (wing and tail flight feathers) and keep them with a label with all the information. you can prepare a skeleton either by cleaning the bones manually (very difficult and time consuming) or by letting some larder beetles do the job.
Another way would be freezing the bird (a good way to temporarily preserve it waiting for an available taxidermist). If you place it in a self-defrosting modern freezer and not in a bag, it will eventually freeze-dry.
The UK Guild of Taxidermists may be contacted here.