A cold frosty start to the patch visit today, but with clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine, it was a pleasure to be out. My first destination was to the drainage ditch where yesterdays Teal was seen, no Teal today, but there was a SNIPE, which took off and went over to the Greenhouses. A pair of YELLOWHAMMERS flew over, headed west, as did a LESSER REDPOLL a few moments later, both good birds to find for the day.
The College Grounds had its fair share of birds today, mostly common resident species though, WREN, ROBIN, DUNNOCK, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, COLLARED DOVE, JAY all were seen along with the BLUE TITS, GREAT TITS, CHAFFINCH'S and GREENFINCH, the latter of which I didn't find yesterday. As I left, 8 BLACK HEADED GULLS were seen on the Sports Pitch, with a flyover COMMON GULL. Other flyovers seen whilst walking towards the Pub Field across Migrant Alley were a SPARROWHAWK, 3 SKYLARK and 4 groups of HERRING GULLS numbering 56 birds in all.
As I reached the Pub Field, my list was only made up of mostly 'usual' species, but that changed when I heard, then got onto, my first GOLDEN PLOVER (111,62) of the year, I have been anticipating this species flyover since early November, and at last have managed to get it on the year list, extending the record tally even further -excellent!
The second half of my walk found the lakes back into frozen solid mode, if this frosty weather keeps up ive no chance of adding any wildfowl to the months list, and it will severely hamper the chances of reaching a record December total.
At least in the Wet Woods there was plenty of activity, a large feeding flock of mixed species was observed, amongst them were 2 TREECREEPER, 3 NUTHATCH, 8 LONG TAILED TITS, 2 GOLDCRESTS, a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and the MARSH TIT. I stood and waited for a good 15 minutes to try to get some photo's, but just when the birds were getting used to my presence, an ignorant dog walker came stomping past me, he had all the woods, to walk through ( not that he should of been off the footpath -I have permission to be there), but no, he had to come my way, bloody ignorant.
Anyway rant over, I at least got one Treecreeper photo. On leaving the woods and walking through the Tree Nursery I was pleased to see both the PEREGRINES from the tower soaring over the Greenhouse Complex, and whilst walking home along Ashes Lane a third raptor for the day was seen when a Kestrel flew past me.
A day of mixed fortunes, but on the whole a good weekends birding, back to the afternoon visits tomorrow !