The first of my xmas holiday walks took place in ideal birding conditions, but rubbish photography conditions. It was dull and overcast, with no wind. I went through the wet woods, to the lake first thing, nothing much there, 13 MALLARD, a GREY HERON, a few MOORHEN, and the COOT, which had changed lakes, the MARSH TIT called from the bank vegetation, and two CORMORANT circled over, but saw me and didn't come down. On the way back through the wet woods, it was now late enough to see GOLDCRESTS, and a single TEAL, but there weren't any Long Tailed Tits, I had to wait until the college before I caught up with them. I spent some time looking for the Firecrest in the tree nursery, but I couldn't find it - shame. I passed the shack and saw the BARN OWL at roost, then went on to Migrant alley, it wasn't as busy here as usual, just a sprinkling of FIELDFARE on the stubble, along with 3 MISTLE THRUSH, 14 SKYLARK and 5 YELLOWHAMMER in the hedgerow, the adjacent sheep pasture had around 25 ROOKS and 30 BLACK HEADED GULLS, but just one MEADOW PIPIT was heard. Walking along the stream behind the college, I was counting the SISKIN and GOLDFINCH, when a LITTLE EGRET flew over, the first this month, a bonus December bird. The college gardens and grounds held some common birds - Tits and Finch's, but also a TREECREEPER, nice to see that here.
The 4 hour visit produced 47 Species, and when I got home, the NUTHATCH was on the feeders, bringing the total to 48. Also of note on the feeders was a Marsh Tit, I wonder if it was the one from the lake I had seen earlier, or was it the other one ? They seem to feed separately, also a superb looking male Siskin was on the sunflower hearts.
Thanks for all the comments on yesterdays post, it's interesting to hear about other peoples Firecrest records - or not ;-)
Above: You can just make out the Barn owl at roost, and below is the Siskin on the sunflower feeder, with a Goldfinch.