I left for my full patch walk at 06:15, in dry and warm conditions, and even had some sunshine later on - makes a change!
I was immediatley met with the sound of calling and singing birds, in just 100m along Ashes Lane I found - WOODPIGEON, STARLING, JACKDAW, CARRION CROW, ROBIN, MAGPIE, WREN, GREAT TIT, GOLDFINCH, COLLARED DOVE, GOLDCREST, JAY, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, DUNNOCK, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH and BLUE TIT, in that order!
Crossing the Tree Nursery a FIELDFARE flew high over, calling as it did so, the only one seen today, a PHEASANT flew up in front of me, and on the small run off pool a MOORHEN was seen. Walking up the hedgerow along the Pub field, both HERRING GULL and BLACKHEADED GULL were seen to flyover, and on the large manure pile 4 STOCK DOVES were feeding.
Next up was Migrant Alley, where ROOKS fed in amongst the sheep, and PIED WAGATAILS were on the horse paddocks, but there were no migrants today, however a new species for the month was seen at the smaller manure pile near the college stables - a GREY WAGTAIL (70), this March now holds the record for species of bird seen, beating last March's record!
Approaching the College grounds and gardens a CHIFFCHAFF was heard to sing, the first of 9 heard today, they are here in good numbers now. HOUSE SPARROW, GREEN WOODPECKER, MALLARD and MISTLE THRUSH were all added to the day list as I walked the college grounds. I then headed back across Migrant Alley, towards home again for my half time break, where a few flyovers wee added to the notebook - a GREYLAG GOOSE, a lone LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, two CORMORANTS, a MEADOW PIPIT and 4 SKYLARK.
The second half of my walk around the Small Holding, Wet Woods and Lake area was rather more quiet, just 9 more species were addd for the day, both NUTHATCH and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were heard and seen in the wet woods, while around the lake area a pair of displaying SPARROWHAWKS were over the area, keeping everything quiet! However, I did see a TREECREEPER and a pair of LONG TAILED TITS, as well as 3 BULLFINCH around the lake. On the water 6 CANADA GEESE were seen, a few more Mallard and Moorhen, but more surprising was a COOT, it was on the smaller top lake fast asleep, probably not the long staying bird that was on the ornimental lake earlier this month. As I left a COAL TIT was heard singing.
I had time for an hours skywatching back over at Migrant Alley, and was rewarded with 4 raptor species, KESTREL, which hunted around the Greenhouse Complex, as it usually does, two Sparrowhawks, and no less than 6 BUZZARDS, which were continually 'tooing' and 'froing' soaring and displaying overhead, at one point the PEREGRINE came over to challenge them!
A good walk this morning, 48 species being seen, but still no migrant Blackcap, Swallow or Sand Martin.
Above: One of the Common Buzzards, Below: a Sparrowhawk