I set off out in sunny, calm conditions, but cloud soon bubbled up and the wind started to blow again, making it feel chilly. I visited the College Grounds first again this morning, via the Tree Nursery, Pub Field, and Migrant Alley, collecting the usual species along the way, but it was a lot harder to find them today for some reason. It wasn't until I was returning home and walking through the Greenhouse Complex that I had anything noteworthy in the book when I saw two just fledged BLACKCAPS, another species to join the successfully bred list.
The walk to the lakes and scrubby woods was also a quiet affair, (I hope June isn't going to be like this! ) The most noteworthy birds were two NUTHATCH'S seen along the footpath from the Wet Woods to the Lakes, i'm sure they have fledged young with them but I couldn't find them. On the water a pair of CANADA GEESE had three goslings with them, and a pair of GREYLAG GEESE had six much older goslings, one of the COOTS was again seen, and 4 MALLARDS made up the waterlife. In the Scrubby Woods, two more Backcap families were seen, at least 2 young in each, plus a CUCKOO was heard. Walking home a HERRING GULL flew over, and a LESSER WHITETHROAT was seen along the Ashes lane territory, the first for a while, but even that only made a poor day total of 44 species.
I was out again for most of the day, dodging a few showers, but managed to add a few more species to the list, both KESTREL and HOBBY flew over Migrant Alley, as well as a GREY HERON, and a LITTLE OWL called from the Greenhouse Copse, a JAY was finally also added to the list, making for a more respectable 49 for the day.
The camera was in action for much of the day, with this LINNET posing nicely.
and this SONGTHRUSH was nearby, one born earlier in the year
Below is the family of Greylag Geese :-)
In the brighter spells this afternoon I went to look for butterflies in the Tree Nursery, and was well happy to find my 17th species of the year, a Large Skipper
A White Legged Damselfly also showed well
As did this Grass Snake, a real beauty !
So the month ended with a reasonable successful visit in the end, capping what was a good month for birds. As I said yesterday, this May produced the best species tally for the ten years with 73 species, the May average is 66.5, and with the addition of Coot, which was a May first, the combined ten year May total now stands at 89.
The best June bird species tally is 68, achieved last year, the average total for June is 63.5, it will be a challenge to beat it!