It was a half decent morning this morning, even with the odd glimpse of sunshine at times, so it was a pleasant 4 hour walk round my patch, and certainly enough energy was expended to burn off some of the christmas excesses!
With the mild temperatures, and a bit of sunshine, some species of birds had refound their voices, DUNNOCK and SONGTHRUSH were heard right from the off, as was the ROBIN - but then that would sing in any conditions! CARRION CROW, JAY and PHEASANT all called just after dawn while HOUSE SPARROW, GREEN WOODPECKER, and BLACKBIRD all were heard before being seen.
I timed my arrival at the Tree Nursery so as to watch some of the LINNETS coming out of their roost, they leave in groups of a dozen or so, over a protracted period. On the way to Migrant Alley, HERRING GULL and BLACK HEADED GULL were already dropping into the sheep pasture and the adjacent college sports pitch, and a single LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL went over as well. whilst at Migrant Alley I saw two YELLOWHAMMERS and just one SKYLARK, 6 LAPWING flew casually over, but didn't come down to stay.
Next part of my walk was the college grounds, where a varied list of common species were seen, COAL TIT, BULLFINCH, and SISKIN among the more interesting, whilst there I heard all the ROOKS and JACKDAWS calling in alarm as they swirled up in a large flock, I scanned the sky and found the reason for the panic, again one of the local PEREGRINES was out looking for breakfast!
On the return journey through Migrant Alley I found two COMMON GULLS had joined the Black headed Gulls, four Gull species on the same visit is a good count on my patch. The last birds recorded before my half way break were found just on the boundary of my garden, two GOLDCREST had also found their voices and were trying to out sing each other.
The second half of my walk was as it has been for the past 3 days, mainly a case of finding a LONG TAILED TIT flock, and seeing what tags along with them, today a flock was found in the lakeside scrub which included, BLUE, GREAT and the MARSH TIT as well as 3 TREECREEPERS. A NUTHATCH was seen loosley associating with the flock, but it was more interested in the Garden feeders of the nearby house. The lake is slowly showing more small patches of water, but it's an excruciating thawing process, five MALLARD had returned to what water was open.
At last some sort of effort was made with my camera. Below is a MISTLE THRUSH
and below is one of the 3 Treecreepers seen with the feeding Tit flock