I had quite a good walk round this morning, in the 4 hours I was out, I recorded a very good total of 47 species, which could have reached 50 if 3 of the commonly seen species had been found, namely Skylark, Mistle Thrush and Sparrowhawk.
I did have some uncommonly seen species turn up though, firstly a PEREGRINE, which flew over as I watched the LINNETS coming out of roost at the Tree Nursery, and secondly a LITTLE EGRET which flew over the College Grounds, both these species have only been seen once this month. A flock of 15 CANADA GEESE that flew over Migrant Alley was the first seen this month, bringing the december tally to 62, the joint 2nd best december total.
5 LAPWING flew east over the College Grounds, and later on my walk, 7 flew west, also noted going over were a decent flock of at least 60 FIELDFARE, small groups of REDWING, 2 MEADOW PIPITS and 3 single YELLOWHAMMERS, whilst the KESTREL still hunts around the Greenhouse Complex scrub.
The visit to the Small Holding, wet woods, and lake area was still severely hampered by snow, both on the ground and in the trees and scrub, the sun never fully gets to these parts of my patch. However I did manage to record just about everything that I would expect to be out there, TREECREEPER (singing!), NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, MARSH TIT, (good to see it still surviving!), SISKIN, BULLFINCH, and a flock of LONG TAILED TITS, all good birds for the day list. The lake remains firmly ice locked, and just 4 MALLARD were seen on the ice, and a line of 5 MOORHEN travelled around the icy perimeter. A trip along the edge of the Wet Woods, to see the LITTLE OWL at roost was successful, but I didn't hang around to take a photo in case I disturbed it, not a good thing to do in the cold weather!
The garden feeders are still very active, but there has been a drop in the number of Tit species coming in, especially BLUE TIT, I hope they are not succumbing to the cold. There was a staggering 21 BLACKBIRDS in my small garden at dawn this morning, quite something to watch them all squabbling over spilt sunflower hearts! After being thrilled at finding my first Moorhen in the garden last month, and then finding two this week, I can now say there are 3! Cool or what?
Below are a few pics I took this morning, the first two are of Long tailed Tits
Below is a BLACKBIRD, looking a bit chilly