As I have tomorrow off work, today was the penultimate full patch visit, only the 7th this month, having always managed a minimum of 8 full patch walks for every month since 2002, I am pleased to have kept up the visit rate, just!
The weather this morning was kinder than yesterdays, some sunny periods were had, but a cold NW breeze negated any warmth to be had from it. I started the walk with the Small Holding, Wet Woods, and lake area, quickly racking up 37 species, aided by the calls and songs, that the sun had induced many birds into performing for me. In fact the first 18 species were recorded before I got into the Wet Woods, those being in order of appearance; STARLING, ROBIN, WOODPIGEON, BLACKBIRD, COLLARED DOVE, SONGTHRUSH, GREENFINCH, JACKDAW, MAGPIE, PHEASANT, CHAFFINCH, GOLDCREST, HOUSE SPARROW, DUNNOCK, GREENFINCH, BLUE TIT, WREN, and GREAT TIT.
Things slackened off a bit in the Wet woods, but a JAY was seen, a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER was drumming, and a STOCK DOVE was singing its relaxed, layed back a-oo-a, a-oo-a song.
Reaching the lakes, I was eager to see if the COOTS were still there, they were, excellent, now I need them to get down to the business of breeding, which would be a first for my patch :-) With the Coots were 10 CANADA GEESE, and 3 pairs of MALLARD, two pairs of MOORHEN made up the inhabitants of the lakes today. As I walked into the adjacent Scrubby Wood, 17 BLACK HEADED GULLS flew over, and walking back out, a CORMORANT did the same, in between those events, all the regulars were seen, TREECREEPER, NUTTHATCH, LONG TAILED TIT, COAL TIT, MARSH TIT, BULLFINCH and GOLDFINCH were all added to the daylist.
Leaving the lake area, and making my way back along the path to the Wet Woods, both MISTLE THRUSH and GREEN WOODPECKER were seen feeding on a large lawn owned by the huge house that stands on the banks of the ornamental lake. My exit from the Wet woods, and out into the sunshine, was met with the sight of 12 HERRING GULLS going over and the cawing of the CARRION CROW, which sat right at the top of a poplar tree.
I checked out the Tree Nursery, and the Pub Field, the latter was overflown by at least 60 FIELDFARE, whilst the Tree Nursery had nothing new for my day list at all. Next I walked across Migrant Alley, to get to the College Grounds, picking up LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL for the day, and also seeing 124 Black Headed Gull on the sheep pasture there.
Being almost the last place I visited today, the College Grounds were now disturbed the comings and goings of people about their business, but I manged to add REDWING to the daylist, when a party of 20 were seen on the boundary of the sports field, also a trio of GREYLAG GEESE flew over.
I ended the 5 hour visit with a skywatch at Migrant Alley, where the KESTREL was seen hunting over the Greenhouse Complex, 3 SKYLARKS chased around the sheep pasture, a SPARROWHAWK circled high up, and the ROOKS went to and from their Rookery with nest building material. Todays visitor to the tall hedge, behind my seat, was a bit of a surprise, a Nuthatch, not seen one of these in this area before :-)
The final species of the 46 recorded today, was seen as I walked home, a pair of SISKIN were in the Greenhouse Complex hedge - the male allowed a photograph.