After work this afternoon I visited the lakes and Scrubby Woods, via the Small Holding and Wet Woods, in some abysmally grey, murky and damp weather, but at least there wasn't a breath of wind, making it feel very mild :-) The still conditions allowed me to hear TREECREEPER and GOLDCREST calling at the Small Holding as they moved along with a feeding flock of BLUE, GREAT and COAL TITS, plus the MARSH TIT, and a couple of NUTHATCH'S, all these birds except the Treecreeper, were busy at my feeders, a short distance away earlier :-)
Into the Wet Woods it was even gloomier, but a couple of MALLARD were picked out amongst the tangled branches on one of the pools, and a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER called from nearby.
Over at the Lakes just 3 MOORHEN were seen, along with the returning COOT, at least I assume it is the one seen earlier this month :-) The adjacent Scrubby Woods had a couple more Goldcrests calling, and a couple of BULLFINCH, but nothing really much going on here, a SISKIN flew over and two more Coal tits were at a nearby garden feeder.
I made my way over to the Pub Field next, and found the 30+ strong flock of MEADOW PIPITS here, with 4 PIED WAGTAILS, and also noted 3 single REDWINGS calling as they went over.
My last stop was at Migrant Alley, where on the sheep pasture at least 300 STARLINGS were feeding, they made a foray into the Greenhouse Grounds at one stage, where they alighted on the only Elder tree that has any berries left on it, an amazing sight and sound as they stripped the small bush bare, until of course a SPARROWHAWK came crashing through, putting them all up, the sound of whirring wings was incredible as they sped over my head!
Over on one of the paddocks, and along the fence line, about 120 BLACK HEADED GULLS were seen, I scanned them all and found just one COMMON GULL (68) with them, the first this month, they are a scarce bird here, just one more new species for the months list will equal the mean average total for the previous 5 Octobers, come on Fieldfare's! The only other species of note were the KESTREL hunting over the Greenhouses, and a decent size flock of Siskin containing about 60 birds, they headed for the College Grounds, their calls echoing across the now very misty fields. A flock of this size is not normally seen this early in the winter, it would much more associated with February or March.
No chance of any photo's today, just too gloomy out there!