The last full patch walk of April took place this morning, tomorrow I will be doing a BTO Breeding Bird Survey just off my patch, so only a short patch visit will be possible.
I set out in cool, cloudy and windy conditions this morning, and was all out to find that single new species for the month that would equal the record April tally set last year, I still had a chance of Garden Warbler, or Swift, but maybe less chance of Hobby or Spotted Flycatcher, but they were the four most likely to be added.
I walked the Tree Nursery, Pub Field and Migrant Alley, en route to the College Grounds, before returning home for a halfway break. It was an average day, the expected birds were singing or calling, GREENFINCH, STARLING, COLLARED DOVE, WREN, ROBIN, JACKDAW, BLACKBIRD, GREAT TIT, WOOD PIGEON, LINNET, CHAFFINCH, and SONGTHRUSH were the first dozen birds on the daylist in that order.
The list grew steadily, as I added DUNNOCK, PIED WAGTAIL, CARRION CROW, WHITETHROAT, ROOK, LESSER WHITETHROAT and SWALLOW all before entering the College Grounds, where, the expected HOUSE SPARROWS were waiting for me, a HERRING GULL flew over and a MISTLE THRUSH sang from high up in an Oak, plus the regulars of GOLDFINCH, CHIFFCHAFF, MAGPIE, MOORHEN, MALLARD, BLACKCAP, GOLDCREST, it was a relief to find a BLUE TIT at last as well! I had 31 species on the list when I decided to make my way back home, but it was the next species that made the day, when a HOBBY (95,76) flew low and fast through the tree canopy of the college gardens, weaving its way expertly as it went, and that brings up 76 for the month, equal to last Aprils record effort, very pleasing indeed :-)
I added TURTLE DOVE, CANADA GOOSE, SKYLARK, GREY HERON, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, and PHEASANT on the walk back home via the wooded Headland at Migrant Alley and the Greenhouse Complex.
That didn't leave too many species to find on the second part of my walk through the Small Holding , Wet Woods and over to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods. only 9 in fact, the CUCKOO called from the Scrubby Woods, and one of the COOT pair was on the ornamental lake. The first LONG TAILED TITS seen on a full patch walk since the 21st, were also seen around the lakeside bushes. BULLFINCH, JAY, and TREECREEPER, were seen in the Scrubby Woods, and a KESTREL hunted above them, but I still haven't managed to locate a Garden warbler here yet. On leaving for home a GREEN WOODPECKER was feeding on the lawn of a nearby large garden, and a STOCK DOVE was heard singing from the Wet Woods, bringing the species total for the day to 46, not too bad, considering the likes of Greylag Goose, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Sparrowhawk and Yellowhammer were not recorded today :-)
The only photo's I took today were of this Robin at my garden feeders, and this Common Blue Damselfly I found in the Tree Nursery grass.