The first day of March was like someone had flicked a switch from Winter to Spring, the sun shone for much of the day, and the temperature rose beyond 10c, and in little or no wind it felt great!
I set for work 10mins early, keen to get the new months bird species list of to a good start, i'm chasing last years record March total of 69, another tall order, but its a challenge i'll rise to.
First off I recorded lots of singing species, ROBIN, WREN, DUNNOCK, MISTLE and SONGTHRUSH, BLACKBIRD even a GOLDCREST in the college grounds. Two CANADA GEESE were in the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, as were a few REDWING, but not a single Fieldfare was seen at all today.
This afternoon I was eager to get out into the woods and over to the lake, unfortunately my walk was ruined by the sounds of a typical warm spring day in pittswood, Lawnmowers, low flying light aircraft and chainsaws!! The latter especially. The worse of the chainsaws was at the large house by the lake, where the hadlow college training crews were hanging from the limbs of 4 different Oaks, cutting off all the wildlife friendly bits ( they call it dead wood). I only stayed around long enough to check to see if the Coot was still it around, and unsurprisingly it wasn't - even a Coot wouldn't stay around with all that racket going on!
I hastily made my way over to Migrant Alley, and the relative peace and quiet of my horse jump seat, this meant i'd have to find the likes of Treecreeper and Long Tailed Tit another day. I did however see a pair of NUTHATCH'S as I passed through the Wet Woods.
I watched the sky and fields for around two hours, finding some good birds for the months list, KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK flew for fun in the blue sky, and the Peregrine was sitting on the tower, but thats off my patch and i;ll have to wait for it to hunt over here on another day. A CORMORANT went over as did a YELLOWHAMMER, and two LITTLE OWLS called to one another from the small copse behind the Greenhouse Complex, typical they should show up on the first day of March, after having not seen one for the whole of Feb! On the way home I checked the Alders for Siskin, but none were found, however I went one better by finding 4 LESSER REDPOLL, a much scarcer species on my patch.
At the end of the day I had 38 species, a good start to the month, and if it weren't for those chainsaws 40 or more would have been found.
Above and Below: The Lesser Redpolls feeding on the Alder cones, another poor pic, with all the usual excuses :-)
Despite some nice light today the only other photo I took was of the Peregrine on the tower, nearly a kilometer away, don't even bother looking!!