Although most of the birds weren't singing, I quickly rattled off 20 species before getting to the tree nursery,100 yards along the lane,in fact, GOLDFINCH, SONGTHRUSH, COLLARD DOVE, WREN, and HOUSE SPARROW, were all seen or heard immediatley. JACKDAWS and STARLINGS were on the various rooftops, and WOODPIGEON, CARRION CROW and GREENWOODPECKER flew over ashes lane, the hedgerow of which held, GREAT TIT, GREENFINCH, ROBIN, BLUE TIT, and the ever present singing WHITETHROAT. CHAFFINCH was recorded in the rough ground around the greenhouses, along with the PIED WAGTAILS, and as I watched the SWALLOWS overhead, both HERRING and LESSER BLACKBACK GULL went over.
In the tree nursery the first BLACKBIRD was seen and a group of four STOCK DOVES flew from around the laurel shrubs. The ever diminishing run off pool there, was just deep enough to hold a single female MALLARD and a MOORHEN. Walking up the hedgerow to migrant alley, ROOKS were seen in the field, but little was of note in the hedge.
I got into Migrant Alley and the work had already begun, it was only 06:00hrs! Just a few MAGPIES were seen in the sheep pasture, but a little further on, a SKYLARK flew up from the maize crop, and a few LINNETS were in the horse paddocks. My first CHIFFCHAFF, and BLACKCAP of the morning were heard over at the scrub at the northern end of the fields, but no Turtle Dove.
I passed through the college equine buildings, and picked up a DUNNOCK and in the distance a PHEASANT called, the first this month. Along the college stream, and the grounds and gardens, I only managed to add GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, HOUSE MARTIN, MISTLETHRUSH (another new one for the month) and SWIFT to my day list.
As I walked back towards migrant alley I could hear the TURTLE DOVE purring from the scrub - better late than never! The last bird recorded the first part of my walk was the ever faithful KESTREL hunting around the grassy parts of the greenhouse grounds.
After a drink and a snack, I walked up the opposite end of ashes lane, and into the small holding, LONG TAILED TIT was found along the way, and at least 4 NUTHATCH'S were found, all very vocal. The wet woods was only quickly passed through, as the numbers of Mosquitoes there now is unbelievable, as soon as you stop, you become a blood donor! On the lake just a family of CANADA GEESE found there way onto the list, but as I watched a GREY HERON dropped in - one more for the months list! In the scrub around the lake COAL TITS, BULLFINCH'S, a JAY and the last new species for the month a TREECREEPER were all seen. Walking back homewards across the back end of the tree nursery the final bird of the day went on the list - a SPARROWHAWK.
Not a very inspiring list, just 47 species today,with a few notable absences, like Goldcrest and Lesser Whitethroat, and maybe the Garden warbler, but I should put the latter two on the months list on a later visit, the list now stands at 52, a long way short of the 69 set in july 2007!
I got a few pics today. below is a preening CHIFFCHAFF
And a family of Moorhen Chicks
I came across this young fox. It was playing in the early morning sun. I crouched down behind a bush and watched it for a while, not wanting to scare it off by taking its photo, when I'd had my fill of it's frollickings, I took a photo of it, expecting it to hear the shutter and run off, but it didn't, it became inquisitive about the shutter sound, and ventured towrds me, it came so close i couldn't focus the camera on it!