I was out at first light this morning, which was a little later than recent mornings due to the thick blanket of low cloud, out of which drizzly rain fell, this was blown around by a strong wind, and it didn't get any better all day. Needless to say the camera was redundant today.
I made my way over to the Lakes first thing, but the wildfowl were sighted well before I reached them, a pair of MALLARD were in the small holding orchard, a pair of CANADA GEESE flew over, and more surprisingly a pair of MANDARIN DUCK did the same, they appeared to come down into the Wet Woods, but I didn't find them again. Just a few moments later I heard the honking of geese, two were seen coming over, one was a Canada Goose, the other was the feral BARNACLE GOOSE, it's call was a lighter more ''quacking'' call.
In the wet woods, while trying and failing to find the Mandarin Duck, calls of GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER, COAL TIT, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and JAY were heard amongst the more common GREAT and BLUE TITS.
On the lakes this morning were 17 Canada Geese, 2 MOORHEN and 6 MALLARD, but the Coot seems to have left now. As I was scanning the waters edge the Barnacle and it's ''mate' Canada Goose dropped in, could make for an interesting hybrid goose! In the surrounding scrub I looked for Bullfinch, but failed to find a single one, the Nuthatch didn't turn up either, nor the Marsh Tit, which may have left my patch by now anyway. As I left the lake area a CORMORANT flew over and looked to drop down on the main lake.
FIELDFARES and REDWINGS are still to be found on my patch, a dozen of each were on Marchants field, adjacent to the Tree Nursery, with them were a pair of MISTLE THRUSH. Making my way up Ashes Lane and back home for a half time drink, a SPARROWHAWK was seen flying over, and 3 LINNETS were singing from a large Ash tree.
After a drink and snack I set off for Migrant Alley, hoping for a Wheatear, or a flyover Sand Martin, however the conditions were against me, the drizzle was blowing into my bins, and making it difficult to scan the fields, I did manage to find a CHIFFCHAFF in the boundary hedgerow, and a few BLACK HEADED GULLS in the sheep pasture, oddly there were two GREY LAG GEESE in the empty sheep pasture field, which on the way back had been usurped by two Canada Geese.
Nothing much of note was seen around the college grounds and gardens or along the stream there. So I walked back to migrant alley and spent two hours around the fields and watching the sky. I didn't get much reward, and it wasn't a comfortable time with the wind blasting the drizzle across the fields, but I saw a few species go over: 2 LESSER REDPOLL, 2 MEADOW PIPIT, 1 YELLOWHAMMER, 3 SKYLARK and a few HERRING GULLS with a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL with them.
48 species were recorded on my 5 hour walk, and although thats a good total for my patch, I was still a bit miffed at not finding any more migrant species. With an improvement in the weather tomorrow (allegedly) maybe my luck will change, at least I can give my camera an outing.