A repeat performance of yesterdays 6 hour patch visit was had this morning, the weather had reverted back to the heavy cloud and gloom, but a very good total of 51 bird species was recorded once again.
Despite the dull and gloomy conditions, birds were heard singing or calling as soon as I left the house, and as I walked the 200m along Ashes lane towards the Tree Nursery, 20 species were recorded in quick succession, they were :
STARLING, ROBIN, WOOD PIGEON, HOUSE SPARROW, BLACKBIRD, WREN, JACKDAW, COLLARED DOVE, GREENFINCH, STOCK DOVE, MAGPIE, LINNET, CHAFFINCH, PHEASANT, CARRION CROW, LESSER REDPOLL, DUNNOCK, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, BLUE TIT, and GREAT TIT.
After that little lot, the only new species picked up at the Tree Nursery and Pub Field were, a MOORHEN, which was on the run off pool at the end of the Pub Field, BLACK HEADED GULL, of which 2 flew over, a SONGTHRUSH that sang from a large garden and a pair of LONG TAILED TITS in the hedgerow.
Migrant Alley was quiet, just a flyover MALLARD was put on the list, but as I entered the College Grounds things livened up a bit with GOLDCREST, GOLDFINCH, MISTLE THRUSH, GREEN WOODPECKER, JAY and flyover GREY HERON all seen, but bird of the day, without doubt was the newly arrived CHIFFCHAFF (76,60). Its simple but cheerful song announced its arrival, a slightly early one, at 3 days ahead of the mean arrival date for this species, very welcome it is too :-) Crossing the sports pitch on the way back, I heard a wall of sound, and looking into the trees I found at least 30 REDWING, whilst at the same time 3 GREYLAG GEESE flew over.
Walking back across Migrant Alley, the north end this time, a couple of BULLFINCH were heard in the headland woods, and song was heard from a YELLOWHAMMER, the first one to sing this year, also singing up above me was a SKYLARK. The row of trees forming the northern patch boundary had at least 35 FIELDFARE in it, and a flyover PIED WAGTAIL completed the list for the first half of my walk.
Next up was the Small Holding , Wet Woods, and Lake area, where just 7 more species were added to the list, those being SPARROWHAWK, SISKIN, NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, MARSH TIT, COOT, and a new species for the month, a LITTLE OWL (61) this was in the Small holding.
As yesterday, I headed over to Migrant Alley for a skywatch, before the mayhem of all the traffic from the Lambing weekend arrived, in the hour I was there, I recorded LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, HERRING GULL, ROOK, KESTREL and a pair of CANADA GEESE, presumably ones that weren't on the lakes today!
The 51 species seen today, included 5 not seen yesterday, so the weekend total of 56 species is not a bad result, considering it's taken 13 days to get to 61 species :-) The months list is now looking a bit healthier, 61 species puts it in joint 5th place out of ten.
Later in the afternoon, I went to see if I could locate and photograph some Waxwings that were just a stones throw from my patch. Although I found them easy enough, the light was dire, I don't think it could of got any darker without it being nigh time :-) I counted 38 Waxwings and took lots of photo's, of which just two record shots were salvageable !
Waxwings - the first to grace my camera :-)