|Dawn - as seen from the College Grounds|
Cold, clear, and frosty this morning, and the sun seemed to take an age to rise above the horizon, as it does at this time of year, the above photo was taken at 08:15, an hour into my walk!
The first bird was on the list at 07:20 as I left my house, a pair REDWING, they flew over calling, these were swiftly followed by a calling GOLDCREST as I walked along Ashes Lane. The likes of BLACKBIRD, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, CARRION CROW and SONGTHRUSH all made themselves heard, but unseen, in the pre-dawn light. Making my way through the Greenhouse Complex, I heard a MISTLE THRUSH singing in the distance, and the call of the first WREN of the day came from nearby.
I followed the drainage ditch along the NW boundary of Migrant Alley, in the hope of flushing up a Snipe, but no luck today, so made my way to the College Grounds, where a few more regular patch birds, like GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH, BULLFINCH, LONG TAILED TIT, HOUSE SPARROW, and COLLARED DOVE were found for the days list.
The Pub Field was my next destination, and in the growing light I could see at least 100 LAPWING out there, along with 9 BLACK HEADED GULLS, a CORMORANT flew over as I walked the hedgeline towards the Tree Nursery, and here 11 MEADOW PIPITS had returned to the cover of the shrubs.
The second part of the walk took me through the Small Holding, Wet Woods and round to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, the Small Holding added KESTREL and GREEN WOODPECKER to the mornings list, while in the Wet Woods the likes of JAY, MOORHEN, and the mornings first GREAT TIT were added. At the lakes it was a familiar story, just 6 MALLARDS on the main lake, and two on the small lake, and two on the ornamental lake. A KINGFISHER flashed by as I returned past the main lake, and walking over to the Scrubby Woods a NUTHATCH called, and then was seen to perch at the very top of a conifer - too high for a photo! In the Scrubby Woods it was cold, and still quite dark, as the sun still hadn't risen high enough to light the place, as a consequence little was noted, but above me the SPARROWHAWK circled over, and above that a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL flew north.
I finished the walk by going back over the Tree Nursery, and Greenhouse Grounds, but only added PIED WAGTAIL and YELLOWHAMMER to the mornings tally, which ended on a reasonable, but below average total of 40 species. Nothing added to the months list - where have all the geese gone I wonder ?
|Female Blackbird feeding on Haws|
|A seasons favourite - Robin|