After a couple of good patch visits, today was a bit of a let down, the forecast rain arrived, and continued on and off throughout my visit, and to compound this, some kind of ''doggy'' event was being held over at the college sports ground, so I didn't even venture over there!
Early on, as I passed through the Small Holding, I saw a LITTLE OWL fly across the old orchard, but failed to see where it alighted, it was so dark ! The Wet Woods were just that, wet! The MALLARD were down to just one pair here, the rest seem to have dispersed around the rest of my patch, as they look for suitable nesting sites.
On the lakes I was happy to see the pair of COOTS still residing on the ornamental pond, and it was also good to see my second KINGFISHER of the month fly from the small lake to the main lake, where 6 CANADA GEESE, 4 MOORHEN and another 3 Mallard were also present. All the woodland regulars were seen in the scrubby wood, apart from the Coal Tit, it was here the only FIELDFARE of the day was heard, then seen flying over.
I checked the Tree Nursery, Pub Field and Greenhouse Complex, and by now was getting pretty fed up with the dark and rain, it was barely lighter now at 09:00 than it was at 07:00 ! I picked out the KESTREL on it's favoured sycamore tree on the border of the tree nursery / Pub Field, the latter was totally empty of birds today, Migrant Alley had a SKYLARK singing over the sheep pasture, plus a few BLACK HEADED GULLS, WOOD PIGEONS and Corvids, whilst the Greenhouse Complex had 3 PIED WAGTAILS on the rooves, until another close encounter with a male SPARROWHAWK was had. After half an hour skywatching, mainly trying to find that elusive Grey heron for the months list and failing to do so, I called it a day, having seen 44 species, an average total, but acceptable in the conditions :-)
Half an hour later I was helping a friend visit different Kent tetrads for the atlas project, we managed to add a fair few species to the TQ73 area, the most exciting of which was a sighting of my first ever GOSHAWK, a really impressive looking raptor, and a nice reward for our efforts :-)