Today started gloriously sunny, but frosty, however by 09:30 the cloud drifted over and it became grey again! I recorded 43 species this morning, but it was quite hard going, long stretches of my walk were birdless. Migrant alley only had a handfull of REDWING and FIELDFARE, and just 2 SKYLARKS, one of which sang - first one this year. The college grounds produced all the usual species, BLUE, and GREAT TIT, GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, plenty of BLACKBIRDS and SONGTHRUSH, also seen were around 100 ROOKS at the rookery just across the road from the college. The sports pitch had a dozen more Redwing on it, with 2 MISTLE THRUSH. Not a very inspiring list!
Whilst sitting in the kitchen, having my mid-point drink I saw 3 CANADA GEESE flyover the house, another one for the Feb. Garden count! Back out on my patch, I visited the wild bird crop and found a flock of at least 20 REED BUNTINGS, a new peak count for this usually scarce bird, along with them were around 15 YELLOWHAMMER. In the small holding I came across 3 TREECREEPERS in a small ornimental cherry tree, nice to see! A little further on another 2 were heard, one calling, and one singing its loveley delicate descending song. I managed to find the mixed feeding flock in the wet woods, in the same place as yesterday, all the same birds probably! GOLDCREST, COAL and MARSH TIT, SISKIN, NUTHATCH, another Treecreeper and LONG TAILED TITS all fed together. I then heard an unfamiliar, raucas screeching, and squawking further back over the top of the woods - RING NECKED PARAKEETS (71) I could just make them out through the tree tops as they argued there way over, one more for the year list, always feels a bit like cheating when I add this seldom seen species, (just one rcord last year). The lake was only occuied by the usual MALLARD, and MOORHEN, although 13 Canada Geese had come back to join them.
I didn't get one decent photo during my walk! So early this afternoon I snapped a few garden visitors, as I was doing this I recorded another new species for the February Garden Bird Count, when a Goldcrest flew in, nice one. Just 2 more needed to get my target of 40 !
Below are the garden bird phto's I took. From top to bottom they are : Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Starling, next two are Greenfinch, then Dunnock another Blue Tit and a Blackbird.