Another wet day! Pulses of heavy drizzle blew in from the SW this afternoon, making for yet another soggy patch walk, needless to say I didn't stay out for long. It was quite an interesting visit however, a drake MANDARIN DUCK was seen in the Wet Woods as I passed through on my may to the lakes, where the first MALLARD ducklings were seen, over a month later than the first ones seen last year. The pair of COOTS were feeding a youngster each, and a second JAYS nest was found with the female seemingly on eggs, the first nest was also occupied by a presumed female bird.
In the adjacent Scrubby Woods the rain didn't deter the singing, BLACKCAPS were the most abundant songster, but CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKBIRD, ROBIN, SONGTHRUSH, MISTLETHRUSH, DUNNOCK, WREN, CHAFFINCH and GOLDCREST were also heard, I stood a listened, picking out the calls of BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, BULLFINCH, COLLARD DOVE, GREENFINCH, and PHEASANT, before I finally heard what I have been looking for since late April - a TURTLE DOVE (94,60) , at last one has arrived on my patch, a full 8 days later than than the previous latest arrival date. This is almost all of the spring migrants arrived now, the ones that actually breed on my patch that is, with just one more species left to come, the Spotted Fylcatcher, fingers crossed that the usual one / two pairs breed on my patch again this year :-)
When and if the Spotted Flycatchers arrive, this years patch species list will hit 95, and I will have to work hard to find the 5 species needed to get to the 100 mark, and harder still to get to the mean average year count for the last 5 years of 109. There are still a few spring passage birds that might yet pass through, Reed and Sedge Warbler, are maybe's, and Whinchat or Common Tern are possible but more more likely in the Autumn. :-)
No photo's today, just too wet and dull :-(