Another dull grey and misty morning, and although the mist lifted somewhat, it never really cheered up all day.
Again the conditions seemed to inhibit the bird song, but all the regulars were heard at least once, and a migrant BLACKCAP was heard singing as I left my house, from the silver birch tree that the Willow Warbler sang from the other day.
It didn't take too long before I had racked up 25 species, but they were all the expected ones, TITS, FINCH'S, THRUSHES, WOODPECKERS, ROBIN, DUNNOCK, WREN, JAY and the likes, but it was the spring Migrants I was really on the lookout for, especially that Cuckoo, which hasn't yet graced my patch, but it isn't later than the mean date of arrival yet.
I entered the wet woods and brought up the day list to 30, with the addition of MOORHEN, MALLARD, COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, and NUTHATCH, however it was species number 31 on the list that got me really excited, as I reached the lake area, I scanned the nearest lake and found a pair SHOVELER DUCKS (87) ! Not the most exotic of birds, or a great rareity in the area, but on my patch it was!! I was especially pleased to record this duck, as it is only the second record for my patch, the first was back in 2001. This was before I kept detailed records, and although it appears on my patch list total, I had no record of it, as my ''proper'' records only started from 2002 onwards. Now all my data ties up nicely, how obsessive is that!?
After all that excitement, I left the Shovelers, and carried on with my circuit of my patch. A CORMORANT flew over, as did a HERRING GULL while I crossed the tree nursery, where again I found the WHITETHROAT, and a flock of 9 LINNETS were at Ashes Lane as I crossed to get to Migrant alley. I didn't record a Wheatear there today, just the odd SKYLARK, PIED WAGTAIL, 4 SWALLOWS and my second sighting of HOUSE MARTIN for the year.
A circuit of the College grounds and garden, gave me SPARROWHAWK and SISKIN for the day list, bringing me to 46 for the day, a few behind yesterday, despite seeing a couple of different species.
After lunch, I decided to take another look round the tree nursery and migrant alley, this time taking my wife for company (I do spoil her!) between us we found LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, going over the tree nursery, a MEADOW PIPIT on the plough at Migrant Alley, with GREYLAG GOOSE and KESTREL flying over, but what my wife enjoyed seeing most was the LITTLE OWL, which was in the small copse adjacent to migrant alley, just where I promised her it would be. ( Phew, I'm glad it turned up, as I had to get the missus to climb 4 fences, very difficult for a 4ft 10 lady!!) So a pleasing tally of 51 was had for the most excellent of visits.
Below are a couple of pics of the Shovelers. Rubbish I know! But I was peering through branch's and the light was awful, and they were going away from me...blah...blah...