The thaw continued on my patch this morning, but there was still plenty of lying snow about, which annoyingly crunched underfoot, making it difficult to pick out the bird calls!
Despite the noisily crunching snow I did manage to find 44 species in the 4 hour visit even though some regular species were not found, like Long Tailed Tit, Jay, Sparrowhawk and Meadow Pipit. However, this was made up by finding the likes of LINNET (50) , and YELLOWHAMMER (51) , both new species for the month. It was also good to hear not one, but two singing TREECREEPERS, one in the College Grounds and one at the lakeside scrub, must be the earliest i've heard treecreepers sing.
Another good bird found was a REED BUNTING (52) that flew over the Greenhouses, a scarce bird on my patch in any month. I checked the wet area of sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, where I found yesterdays SNIPE, and was pleased to see another one feeding there, along with a whole host of other birds drinking and bathing, these included a REDWING, a FIELDFARE, 5 CHAFFINCH, 3 BLACKBIRDS a WREN and 4 SONGTHUSHES, whilst above them in the line of Alder trees, 12 SISKINS and 8 GOLDFINCH were feeding.
I scanned along the field boundary and onto a new flooded area, seeing two MOORHEN and a smaller bird with them, this turned out to be the bird of the day, as it was a GREEN SANDPIPER (110, 53) !!! A year tick! and a record breaking year tick! For this was the 110th species seen this year, making it the best year so far, what a great bird to have set the record, Green Sandpipers are seen very rarely on my patch, in fact this is just the 6th one seen in nine years, 2 were seen in 2002, with one in 2004, 2007 and 2008.
Not much else was seen that differed from yesterdays visit, the lakes were still frozen over, so I still await a Mallard for the months list, but it was an exciting visit for me none the less, and gives me a real boost to see out the end of the year :-)
Photo's today are of this lovely SONGTHRUSH seen in the College Grounds
Another photo of the garden Moorhen :-)