Hopeless!! That's what today was! The forecast rain duly arrived before dawn, and set in for the majority of the day, only relenting around 16:00hrs.
Around 07:30 the rain seemed to ease off a little, so I ventured out, only for the rain to start up again. I made it over to the lakes, and took shelter in an old outbuilding where I could see out onto the main lake, here, there were 5 CANADA GEESE, 2 GREYLAG GEESE, 4 MALLARD and a MOORHEN. After letting the rain ease off again, I visited the ornamental lake, and the small lake, but only 2 more Canada geese and 2 pairs of Mallard were seen, before I once again retreated to the shelter of the outbuilding as the rain came on again.
I made my mind up that I wasn't going to get round for a full patch walk and so made my way back home the way i'd come, through the Wet woods, the only thing of note here was the loud chattering of a SISKIN flock in some Adlers, about 25 birds in all, but I wasn't hanging about to count them properly!
The rest of the day was spent caged up in indoors doing enforced jobs around the house that I have put off for months on end :-) However there were plenty of opportunities to watch the garden feeders, where once the female SPARROWHAWK had caught a female CHAFFINCH for dinner, and so not returning to the garden until late afternoon, a good selection of birds were recorded.
The most numerous were the BLUE TITS, 16 were seen at one point, but many more would have been using the feeders, fewer GREAT TITS came in and the single MARSH TIT was coming and going, along with a pair of COAL TITS. As well as the Chaffinch's the other two finch species were both very much in evidence, a dozen of both GOLDFINCH and GREENFINCH emptied the 6 port feeder in hours, before making a big dent in the 12 port feeder. A pair SISKIN were a bonus species, as was a JAY that came in for the peanuts on the floor that I had thrown down earlier, the 25th species in the garden this year, two other corvid species also enjoyed the peanuts, those being JACKDAW and MAGPIE.
HOUSE SPARROW numbers were disappointing, just 3 at any one time, the same as the number of BLACKBIRDS, which along with 2 DUNNOCKS and 2 ROBINS picked up the falling sunflower hearts. Another poor showing was from the STARLINGS, they really do not like the Sprawk at all, and are the last birds to come back into the garden when it leaves, even so, only 2 came in, tempted by the fat blocks.
At least 3 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were back and forth all afternoon, along with a pair of NUTHATCH, all activity ended at 16:30, with a rush of wings from 8 COLLARD DOVES and 2 WOODPIGEONS as they signalled the return of the Sprawk, it went straight up into the evergreen tree, it's usual place, and the smaller birds filtered away over into the nearby woods.
21 species were seen in the garden in all, a good count, and with flyovers from 9 HERRING GULLS in formation, and a jumbled up, but more impressive flock of 38 LAPWING also going over, a grand total of 41 species for the day was only a couple below average for a February day.
I hope tomorrow is a little kinder weatherwise, I really need to get out !!