I was eager to get out in the sunshine after work today, and after bolting down a sandwich I set off for the lakes once more. The Small Holding had both JAY and GREEN WOODPECKER, easily seen after struggling to find them yesterday :-) The finch's had moved off though, probably disturbed by a dog walker.
In the Wet Woods a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER called, and GREAT TITS were also calling, another sign of the spring creeping up on us was a pair of BLUE TITS checking out a traditional nesting hole. My scan of the flooded woodland floor revealed the usual MALLARDS, 6 in all, but I just caught the tail end of a small duck moving into cover as well, I sat and waited for a few minutes, and was very excited to see a drake TEAL (45) eventually emerge, a good sighting on my patch :-)
I wasn't expecting much on the lakes today, my hopes have been dashed on almost every day this year, but today a little triumph for me, as there were 15 CANADA GEESE (46) on the main lake, with another 3 on the small lake, the first geese to be seen on the water this year. A common and sometimes unloved species, but I was pleased to see them, it's not always about rarities ! With the Geese on the water, were 6 Mallard, at at least 4 MOORHEN.
Happy with my watery success, I proceeded to walk around the adjacent scrubby wood, I was hoping for some photo's, but although I found a feeding flock of LONG TAILED TITS, with a single GOLDCREST, they remained high up in the trees, out of camera reach. There were 6 BULLFINCH'S seen, 4 together in an Ash tree feeding on the keys, a single SISKIN was seen, but the bird of the day, and probably of the year so far, was seeing a WOODCOCK (69 47), it flew up in front of me, and plonked back down again 30-40 meters away, a fantastic species for my patch, very happy with that!
As the sun was now dropping behind the trees, I thought i'd give the Pub Field , Tree Nursery and Migrant Alley a looking over, as it happened there was a work crew in the Tree Nursery, so I walked up the hedgerow boundary of the Pub Field to get to Migrant Alley, I found another Goldcrest here, but out on the maize stubbles it was quiet, just JACKDAWS and the odd FIELDFARE.
After an initial scan of the Paddocks and sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, which produced WOODPIGEONS, CARRION CROW, ROOK, BLACK HEADED GULL, STARLING and just a few filedfare, I went over to my sky watching seat, it was nice to see it dry to sit on for the first time this year! I had a few species in mind that might turn up for the months list, and two did, both flyovers, first a PIED WAGTAIL (48), then a STOCK DOVE (49), no sign of either Skylark, Meadow Pipit or Yellowhammer yet though.
Eventually I moved off homewards, and passing the Tree Nursery, I found the first 20 LINNETS (50) coming into their roost, alighting in a small Oak tree, where they were over flown by a KESTREL, they didn't seem to bothered by it though :-)
An enjoyable afternoon in the sunshine, with 6 species added to the Feb list and 1 for the year list, it's all going nicely :-)
I did a couple of Photo's today, below are two of the 18 canada Geese.
Below is a photo of Hadlow tower, with the nets strung over it to prevent the Peregrines attempting to nest while renovations takes place, but if you look carefully ( Songbird!) on the shaded part of the tower, high up, you might just be able to see a white blob, which is one of the Peregrines, ( you'll have to click on the photo and enlarge it!) Good to see them still around :-)