A new month, with new aspirations, what avian surprises will February bring to my patch this month ?
Well the first bird noted as I walked to work this morning was a little bit of a surprise - a LITTLE OWL, it was calling not far away from my house, a good start to the month :-) The more expected species like ROBIN, and BLACKBIRD followed shortly after, but as the light started to grow as I crossed Migrant Alley, it was possible to see two GREYLAG GEESE fly over, another good species to get early on in the month :-) The rest of the species 9 in all were seen or heard as I passed through the college Grounds, they included FIELDFARE, REDWING, SONGTHRUSH, WOODPIGEON, ROOK, JACKDAW, COLLARED DOVE, TREECREEPER and GOLDCREST, the two latter species were in full song.
Walking home from work, the pleasant morning sunshine had gone, replaced by a chilly wind and drizzle, as a result the only birds added to the Feb list were STARLING and BLACK HEADED GULL, which were both on the sports pitch at the College.
I spent just over 90 minutes this afternoon walking the usual 'winter' walk over to the lakes, and picked up most of the regular species, GOLDFINCH, CHAFFINCH, and GREENFINCH were found easily enough in the Small Holding, along with BLUE TIT and GREAT TIT, a DUNNOCK sang from a nearby garden, whilst the Wet woods added GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, MALLARD and SISKIN to the list.
As I neared the main lake a pair of CARRION CROWS 'cawed' as they flew over, they were followed by the 'chak- a- chak' of a MAGPIE. The lakes were a bit disappointing once more, but the Mallards have increased in number, there were at least 25, giving encouragement that something may join them one day :-) Three MORHENS were seen, and calls from BULLFINCH, COAL TIT, NUTHATCH, and a flyover LESSER REDPOLL were added to the Feb total, more impressive was a long drawn out hooting of a TAWNY OWL, bird of the day by far! It took me a while of wandering the scrubby woods before I added LONG TAILED TIT, and WREN to the list, they're hard to find when you need one!
A quick look over at the Pub Field and Tree Nursery was worth putting up with the persistent drizzle for, as MISTLE THRUSH, KESTREL, PHEASANT, (of which there were 10 females in the Nursery) and a flyover HERRING GULL, helped swell the list to 38. The HOUSE SPARROWS seen in the gardens as I walked home along ashes lane brought me to one short of forty species, that place was taken by the SPARROWHAWK that of course was hunting at my garden feeders!
A good start to the month then, but with the best February total recorded in 2009, of 67 species, I feel i'll have to go some to beat that, last year I manged 65, i'll be happy with that!
Camera was redundant today :-(