GOTCHA!! At last TAWNY OWL (104) went down on my year list. I was awoken at 05:10 by the hooting of said Owl from close to my bedroom window, it may have been on the nearby telephone pole. Just to make sure I wasn't dreaming it, I woke the wife to confirm it, I don't think she was quite as excited as i was though!
A couple of hours later I was out on my patch, I walked the farmland first, and was early enough to watch the LINNETS leave their roost in the tree nursery, I counted a min. of 105. The Barn Owl wasn't at it's roost, and as I stopped to scan the shack it roosts in, BLACK HEADED GULLS started to stream overhead towards Migrant Alley. I followed them over, and counted 100+ and they were still coming in, as I was counting, a flock of 75 LAPWING came in on the Maize stubbles,also out there were 5 REDWING, a MISTLE THRUSH and 4 SONGTHRUSH, but there were no Fieldfare, a second day with none recorded. The walk along the stream by the college, and the associated grounds was without any excitement, just a small flock of 6 SISKIN in the Alder tree's.
The second part of my walk, over to the woods and lake area, started along ashes lane, where I recorded at least a dozen YELLOWHAMMER and 3 REED BUNTING in the wild bird crop. It was hard to count them as they flitted from the hedge to the crop continuously.
In the wet woods, the pools were all frozen, so nothing was see on them, however the drier part of the woods had a wide ranging flock of Tits, with 3 TREECREEPERS, and 7 GOLDCRESTS spread amongst them. As the lake itself was fozen from bank to bank, I expected little here, and wasn't dissappointed just a few iceskating MALLARDS, but as I looked at the only open piece of water, (the bit around the ornimental fountain), what was there ? The GOLDENEYE ! most unexpected.
Only 43 species were seen today, thats with the Tawny owl! Another disappointing total, given that a couple of goodies had turned up.
This JAY was seen in the college grounds, and it allowed a photo to be had, usually there off in a flash.