The last of my quartet of full patch walks took place in abysmal conditions, after an initial frost, the cloud piled in and rain started to fall, making it cold, wet, and miserable. It seems no two consecutive days are the same at the moment, however, looking at the forecast for the next few days thats about to change, as all the days will be wet and cold. :-)
Despite all the gloom a good selection of species were seen - 43 in all, mostly ones that have been seen on the previous 3 visits, REDWING and FIELDFARE in their hundreds on the pasture and paddocks at Migrant Alley, where a GREY LAG GOOSE flew over, small groups of BULLFINCH at both the Greenhouse Complex and the lakeside scrub, COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were all seen in the Wet Woods, which was being terrorised by a pair of SPARROWHAWKS, also a KESTREL was hunting around the lake area, the lake itself being frozen over and was home to just a single MALLARD.
I did find a couple of species to add to the total obtained during my 4 holiday visits, a YELLOWHAMMER, which flew over, as I was trying to photograph the LESSER REDPOLL in the same line of Alder trees as yesterday, there were in fact two now, and 11 LAPWING that were feeding in a field just off the west end of Ashes Lane, with them were 3 COMMON GULLS, and 33 BLACK HEADED GULLS.
The Yellowhammer and Lapwing took the total count to 55 species for the last 4 days, a good result considering some of the weather conditions, and the fact it's taken me all month to get to 59 species!
Whilst at home later in the morning, I was keeping an eye on the garden feeders and was pleased to see the return of both BRAMBLING and SISKIN, better still whilst eating dinner, I noticed a flock of 100 or so STARLINGS in tight formation wheeling in the sky to the front of the house, putting my plate to one side, I looked out, and saw the reason for the starlings evasive tactics, a PEREGRINE was stalking them! It eventually broke off and flew low right over the house - nice.
So in the end, the patch produced 46 species, not too bad for a miserable day!
I tried to get a photo or two but the light was so dire, here's a couple that didn't come out as bad as the rest! Above - Garden Siskin. Below: Lesser Redpoll