Another sub-zero patch visit this morning produced a surprising 46 species, surprising because there were very few birds about, especially early on.
Gulls featured strongly though, with BLACKHEADED, HERRING, LESSER BLACK BACKED and a COMMON GULL all seen flying over, other flyovers of note were a few SISKIN, all in ones and two's, a pair of YELLOWHAMMER, and three LINNETS, which I assume came from the roost site in the Tree Nursery, where 9 MEADOW PIPITS and 14 PHEASANTS were seen later.
Very few 'winter' Thrushes were seen, just a single REDWING in the Tall Hedge at Migrant Alley, and a single FIELDFARE in the College Grounds, although a flock of 8 Redwing did fly over, as did a flock of 15 Fieldfare.
By the end of the first half of my walk I had a good total of 36 species in the book, probably the best birds for me were the two LAPWING that dropped onto the maize stubbles at the pub field..
The second half of my walk started at 09:15hrs, and the temperature was still sub-zero, once again numbers of birds were low, that is until i got to the frozen wastes that were the lakes, here there is a line of leylandi type trees, protected by a thick line of Brambles. As I neared the dense cover I could here two JAYS screeching, as I stopped and watched, they were joined by at least 5 BLACKBIRDS, then I noticed a whole load of birds including CHAFFINCH, GOLDCREST, SONGTHRUSH, NUTHATCH, MISTLETHRUSH join in the fun, obviously they had found an Owl at roost, probably a Tawny, but the cover was to dense to see. I stayed and watched for a few more minutes, and was surprised to see 8 Siskin, then 4 LESSER REDPOLL drop in, they didn't mob, but just seemed to enjoy being with the other birds, even the MARSH TIT turned up to the party, it gave a few scolding 'pitchoo' calls and then left :-)
After that little encounter not much else happened, a KESTREL was up hunting over the Greenhouses, seen as I walked home, and a GREY HERON flapped slowly over Ashes lane.
A note from my Garden Feeders, where a Lesser Redpoll was seen taking sunflower hearts, this is the 35th species this year to come to the garden feeders, and the 24th this month. The joint best yearly species total, and the joint best November total for the garden, so it seems i'm on the cusp of breaking lots of records this year........now a Waxwing in the garden would see them all fall !!!