At last, the first full patch walk of February got underway this morning, but the weather again played it's part, rain first thing petered out, to leave a grey cloudy visit, but at least it wasn't cold or windy.
I was eager to find some new species for the February list today, and felt sure I would pick up one, but it wasn't to be, even the extended 5 hours walk didn't do the trick. The day list reached an average total of 44, but that was increased to 46 when both SPARROWHAWK and COAL TIT were seen in my garden this afternoon.
Early highlights from this morning included a nice flock of 57 FIELDFARE that were on the Pub Field maize stubble, and a flyover CORMORANT at Migrant Alley, along with a KESTREL. Also seen here, of note, were single SKYLARK and YELLOWHAMMER.
A good selection of common species were seen and heard at the College Grounds, including GOLDCREST, SONGTHRUSH, MISTLE THRUSH, GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, PHEASANT, and JAY. A total of 43 BLACK HEADED GULLS and just 1 HERRING GULL were on the College Sports pitch, and whilst ending the first half of my visit 2 LITTLE OWLS were heard duetting in the small copse by the Greenhouse Complex.
The second half of my visit was undertaken in similar dull dreary conditions, despite the promise of sunny spells from the forecasters. The 3 lakes held 2 MOORHEN, 2 CANADA GEESE and 3 MALLARD between them, whilst the regular species of BULLFINCH, NUTHATCH , TREECREEPER, LONG TAILED TIT, MARSH TIT and the likes were seen in the Scrubby Wood. I also had great close views of 3 more Goldcrest feeding together, bringing the total of this species to 13 for the day! A pair of GREYLAG GEESE flew over as I ended my visit, which was just a tiny bit disappointing, but still, some good birds were seen today.
The sunny spells did eventually arrive later in the afternoon, and allowed me to take some photographs of the 'tits' at the feeders, as well as the Grey Squirrel, pain that they are :-) Later on I managed to do some light work on one of my mini ponds, and found a cracking male Common Newt :-)
Above and below Marsh Tit, you can see the pale primary feather that I mentioned the other day.