It was dull and overcast, with occasional light rain during this mornings five hour patch walk, the best of any brightness was at 06:00hrs when I left!
A steady sighting of species ended in a very good total of 51 being seen, but there were still some notable absences - Pheasant, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, and Mistle Thrush were not found, and the two most likely candidates to increase the months list - Garden Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, still continue to avoid detection.
Flyovers by GREY HERON, CORMORANT, LESSER BLACK BACKED, HERRING, and BLACKHEADED GULL, helped boost the day list, as well as finding 5 GREY LAG GEESE on one of the paddocks at Migrant Alley, and it was good to record 4 Raptor species today - PEREGRINE, KESTREL, HOBBY, and SPARROWHAWK, quite good going for an inland patch.
It's always frustrating not to find any new species for the monthly list, which seems to have stalled on a miserly 56, still 13 behind the high achieved last year, and still 2 off the lowest, which was recorded in 2004 and 2005 when visits were shorter, and fewer. I ''almost'' scored a patch tick though, when a group of 9 large finch size birds flew over Ashes lane, calling. I was daydreaming a bit, and only realised the possibility of them being Crossbills when they were right overhead! I took them for Greenfinch's, as all the birds were calling at once, making the 'jipp jipp'' call more greenfinch like. They may well have been Greenfinch's, but there was something about them, and the way they flew purposely over, and high up that had me thinking Crossbill. Alas it will have to be one that got away, as I wasn't completely satisfied. :-(
Photographic chances were few this morning, just this group of Greylag Geese
................and a distant shot of the Peregrine, flying off into the gloom.