Above: The first Celandine flower of the year
Much of the sunshine had gone for this afternoons patch stroll, and a gusty west wind was blowing, what sun there was, brought out the first of the Celandine flowers growing along the footpath that crosses the Small Holding. There were quite a few GREAT TITS and CHAFFINCH'S here today as well, they were associating with the Alpaca enclosure, where the wind blows all the seed from the hornbeam tree onto the ground. Two GREEN WOODECKERS were on the lawn of the nearby large house.
As yesterday, the Wet woods was all quiet, just the odd BLUE TIT, more calling Great Tits, and a few more CHAFFINCH foraging for seeds in the leaf litter. It remained relatively birdless along the footpath that leads to the lakes, but once I neared the scrubby woods and lakes area, SISKINS could be heard, along with ROBIN, WREN, DUNNOCK, more Tits, GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH and GOLDCREST. The gas cannons have started up again, so I wasn't very confident about finding much on the lake, and so it proved, but at least the two COOT remain, as well as 4 CANADA GEESE and just 2 MALLARDS.
In the scrubby woods, BLACKBIRDS were foraging on the woodland floor, along with at least 3 REDWING, a COAL TIT sang, and 4 LONG TAILED TITS were present, they had another Goldcrest tagging along with them, however the Treecreepers and Nuthatch have gone quiet for the time being. Around 3 o'clock the sun went in, and stayed in, making the air feel chilly, which soon had the birds going into quiet mode. Time to move on and check the Pub Field, and Tree Nursery.
Once there, I dithered about whether to have a look around the Tree Nursery, even though the digger was still 'tidying' the ditch, or check out the muck spread Pub Field, I plummeted for the latter, but scanning that field I saw that the field hadn't been finished, and the muck that was down from yesterday had only attracted JACKDAWS, ROOKS and WOODPIGEONS to it, although it was good to see 8 STOCK DOVES on it as well, a good number for my patch.
I then reverted back to the tree Nursery, where I thought I might just find my first Grey Wagtail of the month skulking along the newly cleansed ditch, I didn't, but something much better was seen, a STONECHAT (75, 57) it flew right across in front of me, alighting on an old stem some 30m away, what a great bird to find !! A real rarity on my patch, with just 2 records for last year, one of those was also here in the Tree Nursery. How fortunate I didn't go the route of the Pub Field after all, but that's patch watching for you, being in the right place at the right time :-)
Here's the Stonechat, a year tick, I know it's a rubbish photo, but the bird was very wary of me, and didn't allow any sort of approach, so rather than chase it around, I just took this distant photo, I'm sure you can make it out - Just!