It was dull and drizzly all morning, and it was still dull and drizzly when I left for my afternoon walk, but as I neared the lakes the cloud started to break up and a few sunny spells were had for the rest of my walk - pity, as I had decided against taking the camera.
There were plenty of birds about, especially around the well wooded lake edges, where, as I scanned fruitlessly for a different duck, I was suddenly surrounded by the cheerful calls of LONG TAILED TITS, about 14 flitted all around me, with them were the usual gang of COAL TIT, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, NUTHATCH a ROBIN and a TREECREEPER, which dropped down into the shallow edges of the water for a bath, never seen that before :-)
I finished scanning all the lakes, and came up with just MALLARDS MOORHENS and a GREY HERON, so moved on to the scrubby lake surroundings where I found a couple of BULLFINCH and 3 GOLDCREST, I spent ages tracking down the high pitched calls of the latter, in the hope of finding a Firecrest, but it wasn't to be. I looked over the nearby garden that has the feeders out and saw the normal GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, GOLDFINCH DUNNOCK, COLLARED DOVE and lots more Tits, as well as a KESTREL that came in to survey the area, but the smaller birds saw it as no threat.
I left without finding that 78th species for the month, but still had the Tree Nursery to look through and Migrant Alley to visit. The former was full of BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, and STARLINGS all on the Laurel Berries, with Dunnock, more Great and Blue Tit and a surprising total of 14 PHEASANT, which all flew up and settled down further into the field.
Migrant Alley had plenty to see, the boundary hedge that separates it from the Greenhouses provided cover for more Blackbirds, Thrushes, Dunnocks, more tits, and a flock of 23 Goldfinch that were up in the Alder trees. On the paddocks and pasture, more Starlings were feeding, a few SKYLARK and MEADOW PIPIT occasionally flew up, called , and dropped down again and 8 PIED WAGTAIL were chasing about amongst the sheep. Overhead BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS went over, an off my patch Buzzard was seen heading NW and of course a SPARROWHAWK was also seen, this one was a big female, as it went over it flushed up a mixed flock of FIELDFARE, REDWING and Starlings from a field just off my patch, and they all came streaming over my head chattering and squawking, agitated at being made to leave their feeding activities.
So I didn't manage to find that species to get the best ever monthly total, but i've got the rest of the week off work, and the weekend to go yet :-)