December is here! The final month of the year, and a new months list begins, I wonder what excitement and frustration it will bring ? One thing is for sure, trying to set a new December record will be a very difficult affair, the huge tally of 73 (set back in 2008) is unlikely to be bettered, but I will try!!
The new list got off to a start of sorts, the walk into work, in semi darkness, saw only the very early rising birds about, they included just 8 species. The first was a SONGTHRUSH, cheering the dark morning with its repetitive song phrases, a ROBIN sang moments later, a softer sound, but just as welcome on a dark morning, a BLACKBIRD gave an alarm call, and I could just make out the shadows of two CARRION CROWS flying low over. As I crossed Migrant Alley an unseen REDWING called as it went over, and the ROOKS were gathering on the power lines. WREN, and WOODPIGEON were the only species recorded as I walked through the College grounds.
Nothing was recorded on the way home, as it was raining hard and I got a lift home! Once home I quickly made a sandwich, and watched the garden feeders, but I had barely warmed the seat when a SPARROWHAWK sped through, nothing but BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and COLLARED DOVE were seen in the remaining time it took to finish my sandwich!
I made my way to the lakes and Scrubby Woods area, via the Tree Nursery next, in light rain and dismal light I manged to add just GREEN WOODPECKER and MEADOW PIPIT from the Tree Nursery. I looked through the boundary hedge across to the Pub Filed hoping that the Lapwing and Gulls were about still, but no, the field was empty, I just hope they come back later in the month, Lapwing is a good December tick here :-)
Approaching the Lakes, all was quiet, the chainsaw gang wasn't in the large garden today, lets hope they've finished, there was a couple of JACKDAWS on the lawn though, and a MAGPIE on the roof of the large house. Between the 3 water bodies, just the normal MALLARDS and MOORHENS were seen, while a short walk around the Scrubby Woods, in heavier rain, only produced JAY, BULLFINCH, GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH, and CHAFFINCH, not much of a haul! As I was leaving the area, I saw a CORMORANT flyover and circle the lakes, dropping down finally onto the main lake.
I made my way over to Migrant Alley and the Tall hedge boundary, and added KESTREL, BLACK HEADED GULL, GOLDFINCH, and STARLING to the months tally, but the rain started to come on real heavy by 15:00hrs, and the visit was cut a bit short, I did add LINNET as I walked along Ashes lane though, the last and 30th species of the day, quite a poor start really, but that leaves plenty of common stuff for tomorrow, when apparently the weather will cheer up a bit - that remains to be seen though!