Clear skies greeted me this morning for my full patch walk, but cloud slowly bubbled up, and a keen wind blew.
I was out by 06:00, but it seems that isn't early enough to catch the bird song, as little was heard all morning, the reliable WRENS, ROBINS, DUNNOCKS and BLACKBIRDS were doing there bit though. The first summer species seen was a WHITETHROAT, which scolded me from the top of a shrub at the Tree Nursery, but I had to wait until I got round to the wooded headland at Migrant Alley before the next three were heard, they being BLACKCAP, LESSER WHITETHROAT, and TURTLE DOVE. SWALLOWS were late out today, at least 8 were around the College Stables, whilst in the College Grounds, CHIFFCHAFF and SPOTTED FLYCATCHER were seen, and above, two SWIFTS that circled round made up the migrant birds seen today. I noted the two recently fledged GREENFINCH whilst in the College Grounds, another for the years successfully confirmed breeding list.
The return route across Migrant Alley, gave me my first CORMORANTS (64) of the month, 3 flew over headed SW. A lone HERRING GULL also flew over, the only gull of the day, and on the sheep pasture nine CANADA and 8 GREYLAG GEESE had dropped in since my first passing. Skylarks and Yellowhammer went unrecorded here today, both are a declining species now, in fact I haven't recorded a Yellowhammer this month yet, so it looks like they wont be breeding here this year.
After a short pitstop for a drink, I headed off to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, via the Small Holding and Wet Woods, I added just 7 more species to the 42 already seen earlier, but the first of those, a flyover LAPWING (65) was a nice surprise, they rarely occur here in May. A PIED WAGTAIL was seen in the Small Holding, and the only bird added for the day in the Wet Woods was a calling GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER. Over on the Lakes, I again recorded the feral BARNACLE GOOSE with its Canada Goose partner, plus the usual MOORHEN, MALLARD and one of the COOT pair, I failed to find the Mandarin family again though, maybe they have moved off ! The Scrubby Wood was fruitlessly searched for a Garden Warbler, very disappointing :-( a pair of COAL TITS were the last bird species on the list, a pair were seen collecting caterpillars from an Oak tree, no doubt having a nest full of young to feed.
The days total of 49 species was a fair reflection on the morning, but it was without the Cuckoo, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Sparrowhawk, and earlier mentioned Skylark and Yellowhammer. The months list moves on to 65 species, this puts it in joint 5th place out of ten, with 2006. The chances of reaching my quickest 100 species are receding rapidly now, i'll have to find 3 more new species in just 2 days!
On the photo front, the only photo taken whilst out was of this Green Veined White Butterfly
So I had a quick session in the garden, and managed to chop the tail of this COLLARDD DOVE