Now we are entering march, my afternoon walks will slowly become more bias towards Migrant Alley and the surrounding fields, where early spring migrants are more likely to be encountered, and the visits to the lake area and wet woods become briefer, as the only early migrants to be picked up here will be the Chiffchaff, and Blackcap. Todays visit through the wet woods was very quiet, which surprised me, as it was a lovely sunny afternoon, I couldn't locate the feeding flock, but did find a couple of GOLDCREST and 3 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS squabbling noisily over territories. At the lake area, I was disappointed to find that the Coot had not stayed, but that soon turned to sheer delight, for instead of a Coot, there were a pair of GOOSANDER (74) Yes! just what I needed to boost my morale, a year tick. The Male looked absolutley stunning in the sunshine, and I fired off a few distant photo's, but they do nothing for him! Feeling pleased with myself, I left the Goosanders in peace and went over to Migrant Alley, via the tree nursery, where all the remaining stock in one of the fields was being shredded through a big machine, so there was nothing to be seen there, apart from a MEADOW PIPIT, a species not seen yesterday. It flew in and alighted on an elder tree - Pipit in a tree - Tree pipit! might be a very early migrant, I can dream! However as I crept nearer to it and gave it a proper look I was disappointed, but it did give me some decent photo opportunities. Just before entering Migrant Alley another species not seen yesterday appeared - a KESTREL, it flew low over and landed on the cowling of a converted oasthouse. I sat on my horse jump once at migrant alley, and scanned the fields for a very early Wheatear, or maybe a Black Redstart, well, I suppose i am jumpimg the gun a bit! All I saw were, JACKDAWS, ROOKS, CARRION CROWS and STOCK DOVES and a Lone HERRING GULL that flew over. Oh well, I'll keep looking, it wont be long now, a good couple of hours were had and three more new species for the month, brings the 50 up.
Above and below are a couple of photo's of the Male GOOSANDER. What a handsome bird!