All this cold weather has put an end to my fantasy about finding an early summer migrant this weekend, so it was back to recording the remaining winter birds this morning, of which there were a few about. The winter thrushes, REDWINGS and FIELDFARES, had increased overnight, 57 of the latter, and 27 of the former were feeding on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, along with them were around 30 STARLINGS and a pair of MISTLE THRUSHES. A small group of 7 YELLOWHAMMERS was a nice find on the new paddock.
A flock of 40-50 SISKIN were in the alders along the College stream, but the hoped for Grey Wagtail or Kingfisher didn't show up here today. The College Grounds had a few songsters about, namely COAL TIT, GOLDCREST, DUNNOCK, WREN, ROBIN, and SONGTHRUSH as well as the usual host of common Tits and finch's.
The Wet Woods had a few more birds in than of late, TREECREEPER, another couple of Goldcrest, a NUTHATCH and 20 CHAFFINCH that were feeding amongst the leaf litter, they gather here at this time every year, and I always scan them carefully for a Brambling, or even a Hawfinch !
On the main lake today, there were 3 CANADA GEESE, 2 MALLARD and 1 COOT, I supposed the Coot was one of the pair from the ornamental lake, but on checking, I found the pair to be together still, blimey!! That means ive got 3 Coots!! Thats a record peak count for my patch :-) Two more Canada Geese were also seen here, and a pair of MOORHEN, whilst the small lake had only another pair of Canada Geese on it.
Into the adjacent scrubby wood, and the winter birds continued to show, at least another 25 Siskins were seen, and with them were 2 LESSER REDPOLL, always a good find on my patch. I continued on and found more Treecreepers, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Long Tailed Tit and the MARSH TIT, as well as a few BULLFINCH, I was pleased to see a flock of 8 GREENFINCH, I dont often see these flocking on my patch, unless they are at my garden feeders. It all went quiet after a SPARROWHAWK went through, and as I had recorded all the woodland birds anyway, I moved on.
I went over to the Greenhouse Complex, as there was shelter from that biting wind here, whilst I stood out of the wind two PIED WAGTAILS went over, and more interestingly, my first MEADOW PIPIT (55) of the month did the same a few minutes later, this was the only species that was added to the March list today, bringing it to 55 species, thats still in last place, with another two species still needed to beat the previous lowest tally recorded in 2004.
I left not long after, thoroughly chilled to the bone, having only been out for a little over 3 hours, so much for spring being round the corner!! :-
Below is the third Coot, quite an event for my patch :-)
Later this afternoon, I had an hour to kill before Sunday dinner, so I spent it taking some photo's of the garden birds at my feeders. Click on photo's to enlarge them.