|The final sunset of 2011|
The visit to the lakes first thing provided me with both a CORMORANT and GREY HERON, which is more than has been seen there of late, the usual MALLARD and MOORHENS were hidden away under the bankside vegetation too. A YELLOWHAMMER flew over the Scrubby Woods as I searched the undergrowth there, finding a GOLDCREST, nearby a TREECREEPER called and both GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS also called in quick succession. A NUTHATCH flew to the adjacent garden, and joined the GREEN, GOLD and CHAFFINCH'S that were already on the feeders there.
Walking over to the College Grounds, through the Tree Nursery, Pub Field, and Migrant Alley yielded few passerines, so it was down to picking out flyover species, which included HERRING GULLS, BLACK HEADED GULLS, and a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, also the only winter thrush of the day, a lone FIELDFARE.
The College Grounds was a bit busier, with a LONG TAILED TIT flock being found, as well as COAL TIT, two more Goldcrest, a pair of BULLFINCH and a flyover calling LESSER REDPOLL, a KINGFISHER was seen to catch a fish, then batter it on a branch before swallowing it down, easily the highlight of the day :-)
So December ends on the lowest monthly count of the year, with a total of 61 species being found, 4 below the next lowest monthly total, which was set by February. The year list ended on 108, which is a good tally for my patch and the third best of the ten years, but this year was the first that I have not set a record tally, last years 113 species will take some beating!
I'm looking forward to next years challenge, I just hope the habitat degradation, dog walking, and shooting activities are curtailed, otherwise I feel that to carry on with this local patch could be a bit of a waste of my time, i'll have to see how it pans out.
Hopefully, all the readers of these pages will have a great new year celebration, I wish you all the best for the new year, :-) I'll leave you with a final photo - the last bird recorded here of 2011, of course, a ROBIN!
|Last bird recorded in 2011.....Robin|