There was a very slight increase in the temperature today, up to +4C , but by the time I left work the skies were clearing, and despite the late sunshine, temperatures soon fell away, making it feel bitter in the strengthening NW wind.
This afternoon I thought I'd go over to my skywatching seat at Migrant Alley, to record what flew over, I spent just over an hour scanning the sky, and at the end of it my lips had gone numb, my feet were stinging cold and my fingers felt like they had been hit with a hammer, invigorating or what :-)
So what did I record ? Well, as I walked to my seat, along the hedgerow bounding Migrant Alley and the Greenhouse complex, there were plenty of BLACKBIRDS, ROBINS, the odd SONGTHRUSH, a FIELDFARE and a REDWING. A DUNNOCK called and a GREEN WOODPECKER flew to a fence post ahead of me, and as I took my seat a WREN scolded me from the Tall Hedge next to me.
As I scanned the sheep pasture I could see 2 LAPWING and 3 BLACK HEADED GULLS, along with the usual JACKDAWS and ROOKS. The first flyover was a PIED WAGTAIL, followed very shortly after by a SKYLARK. A flock of 11 Gulls that came over were all HERRING GULLS, except for one which was a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL (54) the first of the month. Also seen a while later were 2 YELLOWHAMMER heading north, a MEADOW PIPIT that flew out of the Greenhouse Grounds, and 4 CHAFFINCH that flew West.
Nearing the end of my freezing vigil, the PEREGRINE (55) ventured over the sheep pasture, I had been observing it for some time as it sat on its perch at the tower, just off patch, and had hoped it might fly this way. The last birds on the list, were a flock of mixed GOLDFINCH and SISKIN numbering around 30 birds, but don't ask me how many of each there were, I only got silhouettes :-)
On leaving the Greenhouse Grounds for home 2 SNIPE flew over, and two PHEASANTS ran along the track. Once at home I had time to fill the bird feeders and then have a quick scan around, from my upstairs window. I saw a group of WOODPIGEON fly up in panic, and suspected the female Sparrowhawk, but I was very pleased to get just the briefest of glimpses of a COMMON BUZZARD (56) as it flapped off low and out of sight towards the Wet Woods, fantastic! Ive never had one so low or so close to my house :-)
A much more productive day today, with 3 more for the December list, taking it to 56, although it's still a massive 17 behind the record December tally!