This mornings walk was carried out in cold snowy conditions, in fact as I left, frequent blustery snow showers blew in from the east, I was only half an hour out and thought about heading back home, but then the wind changed direction, and the snow stopped, leaving a clearing sky with some warm (ish) sunshine.
I did better than i thought I would for the species total, although 39 was poor compared to recent visits, it was good for todays conditions. The highlight of the walk was finding a WOODCOCK (57) at the College Gardens, this really is a good find on my patch, only one other year has had woodcock on the list, that was last year. Another good sighting was of a COMMON SNIPE, I'm being spoilt this month with sightings of this species, todays was seen along the wet drainage ditch which runs along the NW of my patch boundary, I have walked this ditch in hope of finding something 'wadery' hundreds of times, and this is the first time it's turned up something!
Not much flew over, but two flocks of LAPWING one of 18 and one of 7 headed west, always good to see. COMMON GULLS were very evident on my patch as well, at least 8 were seen flying in various directions, this is a record number by far, normally I am lucky to see one!
Most of the 39 species seen were just single birds, but one exception was a flock of at lest 75 SISKIN feeding in the Alder trees along the College stream, with them were at least 8 GOLDFINCH and 4 LESSER REDPOLL.
The Small holding, woods and lake area turned up very little, as it was snowbound and frozen, however a COAL TIT was heard, and a MARSH TIT was seen.
More snow is forecast overnight, so it will be another difficult walk tomorrow!
I took the above BLUE TIT photo from the bedroom window this afternoon, the birds were really hungry today, I was continually throwing out food for them, thats on top of all the full feeders!
Below are a pair of COLLARED DOVES waiting their turn at the feeders.
Below: The wet woods - snow bound. No chance of Nuthatch or Treecreeper here today!