Happy Christmas to all who read these pages !Another early post, as there is much to do throughout today!
My Christmas day patch visits are always eagerly anticipated, as they generally provide me with the place to myself :-) However, this Christmas days full patch walk was not too enjoyable, a blustery wind blew in some hefty showers, these after more overnight rain had made my patch wetter and muddier than at any time seen during the 13 years i've lived here!
By the end of a cut short 2 hour visit, I had found 42 species, which is a bit up on recent visits, nothing outstanding was found, and nothing added to the December list, but there were one or two bits of interest.
On the lakes yesterdays Goosander had moved on, leaving the 50 or so MALLARD, a single MOORHEN and a CORMORANT. The Wet Woods had a mixed feeding flock making there way through the trees, this comprised of 12 LONG TAILED TITS, 3 GOLDCREST, a COAL TIT, the MARSH TIT, and a small number of both BLUE and GREAT TIT.
Whilst out in the open, walking through the Tree Nursery, a BUZZARD was seen going over, and a SPARROWHAWK sped past me, heading over towards the flooded Pub Field ( which still looks good for a wader, but was again not providing one!) The KESTREL pair looked wet and bedraggled as the perched on the overhead lines, and 3 MEADOW PIPITS flew out of the vegetation, along with at least 6 SONGTHRUSHES.
Over in the Greenhouse Grounds I found a small number of SISKIN and LESSER REDPOLLS feeding in the Alder trees along with the GOLDFINCH'S, but only about 15 birds all told, and noted was a spanking looking male Redpoll that had a ring on its leg, I wonder what its story was ?
I never did get over to the College Grounds, the sky went very dark, and another heavy squally shower had me running for cover, shortly afterwards I had just about had enough, but whilst sheltering from the rain against a hedge at Migrant Alley I noticed a well concealed flock of birds on the sheep pasture about 100 meters away, I scanned through them a found at least 200 FIELDFARE and 70 STARLINGS, good to have some winter thrushes back on patch!
Obviously the camera stayed indoors today, but i've a couple of images left in my 'Blog Folder' these are of the Green Woodpecker - I still havn't got a shot i'm happy with though :-)