After some heavy overnight rain, the sky cleared towards dawn, and my 4 hour full patch walk was carried out under a blue sky.
I walked the farmland part of my walk first, which was a bit disapointing, as it was infested with dog walkers today for some reason. One woman let her dog jump up me, putting mud all up my trousers, I felt like wiping my boots up her skirt, to see how she would enjoy it, but managed to hold my annoyance in.
Anyway back to the birds, a good selection of species was seen, but actual numbers of birds were low, not much winter flocking going on. The only winter visitors seen were flyovers of two FIELDFARE and two SISKIN, over the tree nursery, where I watched the remaining 10 or so LINNETS come out of their roost. Migrant Alley had a flock of BLACK HEADED GULLS on the sheep pasture, numbering 43, with two HERRING GULLS amongst them, as I approached, 3 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS flew over, the first ive seen since early this month. Out on the new grass field, there were 2 SKYLARKS, two YELLOWHAMMER, and the usual gathering of ROOKS and JACKDAWS. Over head, a skein of 22 CANADA GEESE, with a single GREYLAG GOOSE went SE, I also notice two CORMORANT headed towards the lake area.
I couldn't walk down the stream adjacent to the college grounds, as it had turned into a river with all the rain we've had, making it impossible to cross, so I missed out on finding a possible Kingfisher to add to the months list. In the college grounds, plenty of common birds were around, MISTLE THRUSH, SONGTHRUSH, BLACKBIRD, JAY, MOORHEN, GREEN WOODPECKER, Tits and Finch's all were found.
The second half of my walk around the more wooded area of my patch, was also infested by dogwalkers! The first glimpse of sun for a while seems to have brought them all out. I did still find a few more species that I hadn't got on my list earlier though. GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, TREECREEPER, LONG TAILED TIT and MALLARD were in the wet woods, where a SPARROWHAWK went gliding through, its legs dangling free, redy to strike. Nothing of any interest was on the lake, it had all been flushed off, but as I walked the footpath from the lake back to the wet woods, I saw a MARSH TIT pop into a hole in a tree, and a few seconds later come out again, was this its roost, or was it prospecting a nest site for the coming spring ? It would be a new bird to breed on my patch if it was the latter.
Coming out of the wet woods, I walked the edge of it, along Marchants field, and was pleased to find a LITTLE OWL staring down at me from above, also as I looked across the tree nursery, a KESTREL was seen to be hunting over at the greenhouses - the last species on my list of 46 for the day. Nothing new for the month, but with a few missing 'usually seen' species, such as Goldcrest, Redwing, Grey Heron, and Meadow Pipit, the day total could have easily reached an excellent 50.
Above and below is the Little Owl seen on the edge of the wet woods.