An all together different feeling to the morning for todays patch walk, there was a slight frost, and a chill westerly wind, variable amounts of cloud drifted over, but the odd sunny spell was had by mid morning.
The cool conditions had put a hold on most of the bird song, and there wasn't the amount of birds around either, it was a hard job finding the 47 species that were recorded in the 5 hours I was out.
A couple of species that I didn't see yesterday, included YELLOWHAMMER, a total of 4 individuals flew over, and one was in the pub field, also LINNET, a few were seen along Ashes lane and in the tree nursery. Most exciting of all though was the sighting of my first SWALLOW (76, 71) of the year, one flew meanderingly across Migrant Alley, giving me good views, welcome back to the harbinger of Summer! It was on this very day last year that the first Swallow was recorded, the mean arrival date over the 9 years is now April 1st.
As I watched the Swallow through my bins, a BUZZARD was picked out a little way behind it, then another, the first of three raptor species seen over Migrant Alley today, the others being SPARROWHAWK and KESTREL.
There were very few birds noticed flying over during the morning, and they were mostly HERRING GULLS, with a single LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, and also just the one BLACK HEADED GULL, two seperate CORMORANT were seen, one went NE the other NW.
Winter left overs were only represented by 3 FIELDFARE, they were in the College Grounds.
The lakeside scrub was given a thorough looking over, trying to find the first Blackcap of the year, but none were found, species such as NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, COAL TIT, GOLDCREST and CHIFFCHAFF were all found eventually though. On the nearby lakes just CANADA GEESE, MALLARD and MOORHEN were at home.
Above and below is a Mistle Thrush, I dont get many photo's of these big thrushes.