This morning I was joined by two visitors for my patch walk, readers of this blog who wished to see my patch. We left at around 07:30, and quickly heard, or had glimpses of ROBIN, CARRION CROW, BLACKBIRD, WOODPIGEON and WREN as we walked down Ashes Lane. Walking through the tree nursery a SONG THRUSH was singing, and in the distance we could see the KESTREL hunting over the Greenhouses, one of many sightings of it! Also whilst there 4 CORMORANTS flew low over.
On leaving the tree nursery, and walking the hedgerow to Migrant Alley, we saw an Immature MUTE SWAN fly over, particularly pleasing as it was a new species for this month, a scarce bird on my patch.
Migrant Alley was quiet, but we did see a MEADOW PIPIT fly up, I heard a SKYLARK go over and a small flock of REDWINGS did the same. BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS were on the sheep pasture and college sports pitch, and passing through was another new species for the month a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL.
The college grounds and gardens gave us MOORHEN, MALLARD, JAY, COLLARD DOVE and BULLFINCH for the day list, and our second visit to Migrant Alley, on the way back gave us a PHEASANT, GOLDFINCH and GREENFINCH.
The second part of the walk through the Small Holding and Wet Woods was relatively quiet, but PIED WAGTAIL, SISKIN, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, and a MISTLE THRUSH kept the daylist ticking over. As we were about to leave the Wet Woods, we found a feeding flock of mainly Tits, with a few siskin, but I then noticed a small bird scurrying up a tree trunk, I announced to my visitors that there was a Treecreeper ahead, but as I got my bins on it, I could see it was no Treecreeper, it was a female LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER ! fantastic sighting! Both my visitors got some fleeting sightings of it - a new bird for them, before it flew deeper into the woods.
The Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is a real scarce bird on my patch, it has been seen in six out of the 8 years of recording, involving less than a dozen sightings.
We carried on our walk over to the lake and scrubby area, but there wasn't anything new on the water, on the way back out of the scrub we did find a flock of LONG TAILED TITS, with COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, and a handsome male Bullfinch. We decided to go back into the wet woods to maybe get better views of the L.S. Woodpecker, but by now 3 unruly dogs were bounding about and yakking loudly, so we called it a day and made our way home.
45 species for the day, with 3 more additions to the December total was more than a good days work. I hope you enjoyed your walk of my patch Mr and Mrs P.!!
It was too gloomy for any pics this morning, so I got some more garden pics this afternoon.
Above: Great Spotted Woodpecker