It proved to be an eventful visit, with 44 species being seen, however there were no raptors seen, or any Greenfinch's ( 8 were seen at my garden feeders later in the afternoon, as was a SPARROWHAWK)
The first nice surprise of the visit was finding a drake TEAL (57) sitting in the now fully flowing ditch at the NW boundary of my patch, I have never recorded any ducks on this part of my patch, apart from the occasional Mallard, so this was especially rewarding, this is the first Teal seen since January.
Another of the highlights for the morning was finding at least 75 SISKINS feeding in the Alders along the College Stream, at one point they all took off, and circled back down again, making an incredible noise! There was another new species for the month at the College Grounds, where a KINGFISHER (58) was seen at one of the garden ponds, with a SNIPE nearby. Just as I left the College Grounds, a fantastic LITTLE EGRET (59) flew over the College Stables, an excellent addition to the December list! I thought that would be it for new monthly species, but just a few minutes later I found a GREY WAGTAIL (60) feeding by the manure heap at the north end of Migrant Alley, good to get the December list to 60 :-)
Moving on to the second part of my walk, through the Small Holding , Wet Woods and Lakes area, I found all the woodland species, GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, BLUE, GREAT, COAL and LONG TAILED TIT, GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKER also a few more Siskin. On reaching the Lakes I saw that they were in the process of thawing but still iced over, whilst there, at least 25 MALLARDS (61) circled round, saw that the lakes were iced over, and flew back off again, so Mallard has eventually been added to the months list !!
The light was mostly poor today, and few birds made themselves available for the camera, but this pheasant did come near.
Below is the ditch at the NW part of my patch, just off Migrant Alley, this is the only source of flowing water at the moment, it will be worth checking first thing tomorrow, if I can beat the dog walkers out!