The weather wasn't as cold and grey this morning, a few sunny spells were even had, but the wind was still a pain, strong and gusty from the SW.
Trying to hear the high pitch calls of young birds was difficult against the noise of that wind in the tree's, and I didn't add any new confirmed breeding species today, there were one or two other highlights amongst the 47 species seen though. As I crossed the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, I saw 5 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS and 3 HERRING GULLS, they were on a sheep carcass, the second sheep ive seen dead here in a month. The usual CARRION CROWS and MAGPIES were helping themselves to bits of it too, and a Fox had its fair share also, what a good job all these much maligned creatures do in clearing up the countryside of a source of potential disease.
Nearby, in the wooded headland, two TURTLE DOVES purred, and the only WHITETHROAT of the day was seen. Moving on to the College Grounds, I managed to locate the pair of SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS, which stayed still long enough for a photo today. I tracked them to their potential nest site, which looks a bit precarious, situated as it would be on a creeper against a wall on one of the college buildings, right next to a busy door way and a seating area for the students, not a good site.
I was relieved to find my first YELLOWHAMMER (72) this month whilst I walked up Ashes lane on the second half of my patch visit, ive now equalled the best May species total, and have two days left to beat the record, if only the Garden warbler had turned up this year!
The Small Holding gave me a decent enough view of a LITTLE OWL, but too far away for a photo, the Wet Woods was infested with 'man eating' mossies, so I walked through a bit rapid, but did see some well grown MOORHEN young. Reaching the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, all was much as it was yesterday morning, I found the family of GOLDCRESTS again, and listened to the song of BLACKCAP, CHIFFCHAFF and another Turtle Dove, plus the call of both male and female CUCKOOS. CANADA GEESE, MALLARD and a COOT were on the lakes whilst overhead todays raptor species was represented by a SPARROWHAWK.
Below are a few of the photo's I took of the Spotted Flycatchers at the College Grounds