The Coots are still here! :-)
A new month, the first of the spring months, and amongst my tally of species for March will be at least one Spring Migrant, the most likely one being the Chiffchaff, but if i'm very lucky I might just get a Swallow or Sand martin towards the latter end of the month, or even a Wheatear :-)
Before any of the exciting stuff arrives, which will be another 10 days at least yet, there are all the regular species to record, which I started doing whilst walking to work this morning. The new month hasn't brought new weather, it was still, dull, dull, dull with a cold NE wind blowing, not the best conditions to find the birds, but I managed to get 24 on the list as I crossed Migrant Alley and walked through the College Grounds.
First bird for March was the ROBIN, followed in quick succession by MAGPIE, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, GREEN WOODPECKER, BLACKBIRD, BLUE TIT and WOODPIGEON, all seen along Ashes lane and around the Greenhouse Complex. Walking into a freezing wind across the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, only CANADA GOOSE was added to the list when two flew over, I had to wait till getting to the college Grounds before adding the other 15 species, which were in order of appearance; WREN, DUNNOCK, GREAT TIT, SISKIN, KESTREL, FIELDFARE, PHEASANT, GOLDFINCH, HOUSE SPARROW, COLLARED DOVE, CARRION CROW, STARLING, JACKDAW, GOLDCREST and BLACK HEADED GULL.
The walk back home from work produced only another 4 species, MALLARD, LONG TAILED TIT, ROOK and MOORHEN, but once home, and devouring a large sandwich, I picked up two more species in the garden, NUTHATCH, and more impressively a LESSER REDPOLL, a real good garden bird to get, and number 28 for the garden list so far this year :-)
The usual afternoon visit to the Small Holding Wet Woods and Lake/scrub area was undertaken in the same dull, cold and muddy conditions, a MISTLE THRUSH was in the Small Holding along with two JAYS, whilst the Wet Woods provided me with TREECREEPER and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER for the March list.
I had my fingers crossed that the COOTS were still on the ornamental lake, and they were, a very good March species to get for my patch, with them were a pair of Canada Geese, 4 Mallard and 4 Moorhen - no Goosander today :-( The walk round the Scrubby Wood was a bit disappointing, only SONGTHRUSH, and BULLFINCH were added to the months list, but there were more Treecreepers, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Siskin, and Long tailed Tits to keep me amused, as well as another Lesser Redpoll.
My walk back home across the Tree Nursery gave me flyovers from STOCK DOVE and HERRING GULL, and a notable number of Pheasants were recorded, when a group of 11 were seen amongst the shrubs there. Once home, I had enough light left to watch the garden feeders, in the hope of finding the BRAMBLING, which duly obliged, I failed to get a photo of it though, it was just to far off and in the tangle of my Elder tree, if it stays around I'll have another try tomorrow.
So the March list reached 40 on the first day, not bad, but to beat the record March total, set last year I will need another 32 species!