The weather again played it's part in todays patch walk, a steady rain was falling as I left the house at 07:30 making it another miserable affair. Bird species were initially hard to find, just BLACKBIRD, ROBIN, MAGPIE, CARRION CROW, LINNET, WREN, FIELDFARE and DUNNOCK were found in the first 40 mins of my walk, and things only slowly picked up, as I walked Migrant Alley, I added a YELLOWHAMMER, a SKYLARK, WOODPIGEON, JACKDAW, ROOK and a flyover CORMORANT. The College Gardens provided more of the expected species as they began to show themselves, with BLUE TIT, MISTLE THRUSH, REDWING, CHAFFINCH, LONG TAILED TIT, COLLARED DOVE, and SONGTHRUSH all added to the day list, a group of five BULLFINCH brightened up a dour visit.
As I walked back across the college sports pitch, both BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULL were feeding on the now saturated grass, where large puddles were forming, the rain got heavier, making me even wetter, and my binoculars were getting more and more water on the lenses, I was just able to watch a flock of of 20 or so STARLINGS feeding out in one of the horse paddocks as I crossed Migrant Alley for the second time heading for the Greenhouse Complex. Here I found the first GREAT TIT, GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH, and SISKIN of the day in the Tall Hedge and the row of Alders that forms the boundary of Migrant Alley and the Greenhouses, whilst in the now flooded parts of the grounds, a MOORHEN was seen, the first ever found here, must be wet! As left the Greenhouses the KESTREL flew over and began hunting, in its preferred hovering style. The final push for home along Ashes Lane, and so finishing the first half of my walk, produced HOUSE SPARROW for the list, also 3 flyover MALLARDS, but I was now soaked through, and the rain had still not relented prompting me to abort the second half of my walk, with just 32 species on the list. :-(
Things took a turn for the better this afternoon, as I watched the garden feeders through the rain and gloom, 3 Siskins came to join the regular visitors, but it really cheered me up when a BRAMBLING (59) also came in to feed, fantastic finch's ! This is a species that is hard to get on the year list, and one that is needed if records are to be broken this year.
Above Brambling, below Siskin - poor pics, but it was like dusk out there all day!