No rain today - hooray! However the weekend will be very wet and very windy - Doh!
This morning, walking into work, a lone LAPWING flew up from the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, this winter has been the poorest so far for lapwing on my patch. Past winters have provided me with good size flocks, 100+ was not an unusual number to be found at Migrant alley, however this year the most seen on the sheep pasture there is just 2! Small flocks of 30 -50 have flown over but did not come onto the fields. Most of the reason for this is the increase in dog walkers, with loose roaming dogs :-(
This afternoon actually provided some brief sunny moments, but a gale force, cold wind took away any warmth that was provided. The walk over to the lakes was frustrating, as the noise of the wind drowned out any bird calls, only the most obvious of birds were recorded GREEN WOODPECKER in the Small Holding, along with numerous BLUE and GREAT TITS, 6 MALLARD, 4 MOORHEN and two GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS in the Wet Woods and the usual MAGPIES and JAYS scurrying about.
I checked the lakes for the COOT and was pleased to see it still there, day 5 ! Will it beat the record of 9 days ? It seems to like the ornimental lake owned by the large house, the smallest 'top' lake had 12 CANADA GEESE on it, but the main lake had just 2 Mallard and 3 Moorhen. Looking at the water levels they are higher than I have ever seen them, this might attract a Goosander down - I hope!
As the weather was relatively ok, I paid a visit to Migrant Alley, in the hope of adding a Meadow Pipit to the months list, but none was found, however as I scanned the NW edge of my patch, along the wet ditch, I saw a LITTLE EGRET (60) drop in, nice ! I thought i'd sneak round and get a photo of it - as they don't often land on my patch, but low and behold a bloody dog walker with 3 loose dogs got there before me. The Egret flew off and seemed to alight in a tree behind the Greenhouse's, once the dogs had gone, it flew back down into the ditch, I decided that it didn't need to be disturbed again, and settled for the record shot I got of it as it flew back down into the ditch.
So one more for the February list, and with two full patch visits left, the months species total reaches 60, the 3rd best February tally so far, still 7 behind last Feb's record total though.
Below: the Little Egret - it was a long way off!