|December Dawns over Pittswood|
The first 4 bird species on the months list this morning were much to be expected, WOODPIGEON, CHAFFINCH, ROBIN and JACKDAW, the fourth however was not expected, but much hoped for, a fantastic WAXWING (107) no less ! Only one mind you, and only a flyover, but i'll take that for a year tick :-) I need just 2 species now to reach my target of 109 for the year, unlikely, given it's now December, but not impossible!
Carrying on my Walk, BULLFINCH, BLACKBIRD, CARRION CROW, and a flyover HERRING GULL were all seen as I walked along the rest of Ashes lane towards the Greenhouse Complex, where the common species like WRENS, DUNNOCKS, BLUE TITS, and GREAT TITS were found, as well as the slightly less common PIED WAGTAIL, and the much more scarcer LESSER REDPOLL and SISKIN which fed in the Alder trees with their GOLDFINCH companions.
Crossing Migrant Alley, MAGPIE, ROOK, SKYLARK, STARLING and a few small parties of REDWING were added to the new months list. The College Grounds were not as active as usual, but the likes of GREEN WOODPECKER, COLLARED DOVE, HOUSE SPARROW, GREENFINCH, JAY, and MOORHEN were all seen.
I walked over to the Pub field via Migrant Alley, and found 50+ BLACK HEADED GULLS on the harrowed stubbles, but nothing more exciting was with them, 2 FIELDFARE flew over, the only sighting of that particular species for the morning. Nothing else was added to the December list until I got to the Lakes, where 3 MALLARDS were on the only piece of unfrozen water. A troop of LONG TAILED TITS moved around the lake edge, with a couple of GOLDCREST and a COAL TIT, whilst the nearby feeders of the adjacent house had the MARSH TIT coming in to feed. In the Scrubby Woods a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER called, and a small gathering of 5 Bullfinch was good to see, 3 more were seen a little later as I left the area for a circuit of the Wet Woods, here the pools of water were all frozen, so nothing on those, nor was there any sign of a Treecreeper, but 4 more Goldcrests were found.
Next up was a walk around the Tree Nursery, finding 2 MEADOW PIPITS, 8 SONGTHRUSH, and the 2 resident KESTRELS hunting. a pair of STOCK DOVES flew over, and as I watched them 2 CORMORANTS flew towards the Lakes, these were the last birds on the list for the morning, bringing up a total of 41 species for the new month.
I added NUTHATCH to that list when one visited my garden feeders, and a late afternoon visit around the Greenhouse Complex and the Tree Nursery in the hope of finding a Barn Owl or Woodcock proved unsuccessful for those two species, but I did get to see a RING NECKED PARAKEET fly across Migrant Alley, a good species to get in December, that and the Waxwing sighting will help greatly if I am to get close to the December record tally of 73 achieved back in 2008, that will be a big ask though :-)