This afternoon I thought i'd go over into the wet woods to try and relocate yesterdays Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, and maybe even photograph it. I think I was a little optimistic, on both counts!
It was very quiet as I walked through the Small Holding on my way to the woods, only the most common of birds were seen, BLACKBIRDS, BLUE and GREAT TITS, WRENS, DUNNOCKS and ROBINS, all in small numbers. Once in the woods it was still and silent, just right for peering through the static branches, anything moving about would catch my eye easily, trouble is not a lot moved, a few SISKIN, more Blue and Great Tits and the odd CHAFFINCH, that was about it, despite half an hour of looking.
I decided I would take a look at the lake area, I didn't fare much better here, the water had just 5 MALLARD and 3 MOORHEN, with a CORMORANT sitting up on its favoured tree, but as I walked the bank I heard the hooting of a TAWNY OWL coming from the scrubby area, then once again it hooted, a very nice find for December, and a bit lucky I'd say! A few moments later a JAY had obviously located the Owl, and was screeching alarm calls at it, another jay joined in, and I then started to home in on the racket, I was close to the jays, so the owl was near, but I couldn't see it, two MISTLE THRUSHES came in from somewhere and joined the mobbing party, which by now had Chaffinch's, Blackbirds, SONGTHRUSH, and more amusingly two GOLDCREST and a COAL TIT all adding their scolding calls. However, I just couldn't find the Owl, I suspect it flew off low and into denser cover without me seeing, and all the fuss died down. This is only the fourth month of the year I have recorded Tawny Owl.
After all that excitement I decided I would go back and walk the edge of the wet woods, along marchants field, I found what I was looking for, in just the place I saw it last month, a LITTLE OWL, not often I get two owl species on the same day, especially in the afternoon! I also found a LONG TAILED TIT flock with a couple of TREECREEPERS.
As the sun started to go down I went over to the tree nursery to wait for the LINNETS to come into roost, this they did at 15:40, and I counted over 60 of them.
The December list now moves on to 60 species, which is the average total for the month.
Above: The Cormorant on his perch.