Today we had a 24 hour respite from the wind and rain, and for once it was sunny and calm............well it was sunny until I left work, when high cloud came over, but it did stay brighter than of late.
I did my usual winter walk this afternoon, and tried to get as many species on the December list as I could, I wanted to get off to a good start! I had already seen a few species on the walk home from work, BLACK HEADED GULL, PIED WAGTAIL, FIELDFARE, MISTLE THRUSH, ROOK, and JACKDAW all at Migrant Alley, as well as GOLDFINCH, SONGHRUSH, BLACKBIRD, COLLARED DOVE, WOODPIGEON, WREN, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, and MAGPIE all picked up at the college grounds, BULLFINCH was added as I walked along ashes lane, two were feeding in the adjacent Greenhouse grounds.
During the afternoon, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH and GREEN WOODPECKER were added to the list from the Small Holding, and the wet woods gave me a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, plus TREECREEPER, and MOORHEN, but still no Teal for this winter on the now full pools.
A party of LONG TAILED TITS flitted from tree to tree as I walked the footpath from the wet woods to the lake area, but I couldn't find any Goldcrest among them, there are not very many about on my patch this year. Arriving at the lake, I was wanting something exciting - Goosander would have been nice, but as usual I only got MALLARD for the list. Around the scrubby area I added JAY to the list, and saw more Bullfinch's, lots of them around this year, good to see. At the nearby garden feeders lots of common birds were seen, but the only ones I hadn't seen already were NUTHATCH, and HOUSE SPARROW. A flock of SISKIN that fed in an Alder tree with some Goldfinch's was good for the Dec. list.
I made my way over to Migrant Alley for the final 45 mins of the daylight, crossing the tree nursery on the way, there was a work party busy here, so not much was added to the list, apart from a CARRION CROW and, at last a STARLING! Where have they all gone ?
Once at Migrant Alley, I didn't have the time to walk the fields, but I saw a flock of 16 SKYLARK settle onto the sheep pasture as I took my seat, and a little later a STOCK DOVE flew over, as did a pair of LINNETS, but that was it for the daylist. I left at it was just getting dark, but as I cut through the Greenhouse grounds a LITTLE EGRET flew over, superb bird for the December list! Thats two in a week now, after not seeing one since July.
As I walked up ashes Lane for home, I saw the Linnet flock coming in to roost, at least 60 birds were swirling around, I watched them drop down, a few at a time each time they passed over a patch of bramble at the Greenhouse grounds, it was great to watch, but the traffic was a bit of a pain as it sped by unconcerned of such a spectacle. The last bird on the list for the day was a CORMORANT, a fortunate sighting, as one flew over as I watched the Linnets!
So thats 37 species to kick of Decembers list, a good effort in 2 hours!
Above is a Fox that I came across while watching the garden feeders at the house by the Lake.