This morning the weather had returned to default mode, that is, wet, dull, and misty ! The rain was light but steady, giving me a good wetting as I walked over to the Lakes for an early look around, too early in fact, as it was still dark as I entered the Wet Woods! The only birds seen or heard before I got to the lakes were CARRION CROW, WREN, COLLARED DOVE, GOLDCREST, WOODPIGEON, SONGTHRUSH, MAGPIE, BLACKBIRD and GREEN WOODPECKER, how different to a late April day when three times that would be recorded!
The early visit to the 3 lakes didn't pay dividends though, just 4 MALLARDS on the main lake and two on the small lake were seen, with once again the ornamental lake completely empty, a GREY HERON did drop in as I sheltered in one of the outbuildings, and I also watched a few BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS drift over. Four REDWINGS called as they flew out from the Scrubby Woods, where BULLFINCH, NUTHATCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, SISKIN and JAY were added to my meagre list. The rain came on heavier, so I decided to cut short the full patch walk, and made my way back home through the Tree Nursery, all was very still here, very depressing, but then, just before I slit my wrists, the months first COMMON GULL (55) flew over, that cheered me up a bit :-) in fact it was the first Common Gull since October.
Just after noon, the rain stopped and the sky turned less grey, so i went out again, I wanted to check the Pub Field for LAPWINGS, and found around 200 out there, but much scanning didn't find a Golden Plover amongst them, a KESTREL came over and spooked the flock, sending most to a field to the south of my patch, leaving 30-40 to settle back down again. Whilst out I made a quick circuit of the fields at Migrant Alley, and saw a BUZZARD fly low over, always nice to see them :-) I added MEADOW PIPIT, PHEASANT, FIELDFARE and ROOK to the days findings, but then, scanning the nearby Greenhouse Copse I saw not one, but two LITTLE OWLS (56) perched up in an old ash tree, ending the day on a more creditable but less than average 39 species. The Little Owls take the December list to 56 now, which is the joint lowest December total, the same tally as 2002 and 2003. No chance of any photo's today!!