I was chomping at the bit to get going this morning, and was out by 07:30, far too early for finding most passerines as it was still almost dark, but they slowly came out of roost, here's what I recorded in the order they appeared :-)
The first bird for 2013 was a BLACKBIRD, closely followed by ROBIN, MAGPIE, JACKDAW and a flyover HERRING GULL. A GOLDFINCH called as it also flew over and a WOODPIGEON clattered out of the hedgerow as I turned into the Tree Nursery, where I heard a WREN singing, and watched a KESTREL hunting, both GREEN WOODPECKER and MEADOW PIPIT flew from the shrubs and rank vegetation, plus a couple of LINNETS were watched leaving their roost. A PIED WAGTAIL flew over calling, then SONGTHRUSH was heard from nearby giving some weak song, a GREAT TIT called as did a DUNNOCK.
I checked the Pub Field but found nothing new here, so headed off to the Lakes, on the way adding CHAFFINCH and BLUE TIT to the year list. On arriving at the lakes I heard a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER calling loudly, and the MALLARDS were also very vocal, the COOT remained on one of the small lakes, and I was surprised to find another one on the second small lake, but nothing else was on the water - not surprising really with all the fireworks going off last night!
I picked up the likes of LONG TAILED TIT, COAL TIT, MOORHEN, MISTLE THRUSH, GOLDCREST, COLLARED DOVE, JAY, and BULLFINCH, around the lake edges and Scrubby Woods, plus flyovers from SPARROWHAWK and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL.
Next up was a visit to the Wet Woods and Small Holding, here I added NUTHATCH and TREECREEPER to the year list, which were amongst another flock of Long tailed Tits and Goldcrests. Two STOCK DOVES and a CARRION CROW flew over, plus at last a STARLING showed up :-).
The second half of my visit produced few species for the new year list, SISKIN was added from the Greenhouse Grounds, and a LITTLE OWL was seen in the Greenhouse Copse, however the bird of the day, and therefore the year -so far, was a LITTLE EGRET that was standing in a paddock at Migrant Alley - just goes to prove how wet it is out there ! A flock of ROOKS were also in the paddocks.
The College Grounds only provided the first HOUSE SPARROW for the day, which was a bit disappointing, and the walk back home yielded the last species for the visit, which was a flyover LESSER REDPOLL :-)
So 2013 ended with a species tally of 42, but the likes of Skylark, yellowhammer, and Pheasant, didn't show, nor did any Geese or winter thrushes, more surprisingly Greenfinch was not recorded today either, didn't even have one at the garden feeders this afternoon, I'm sure to get one tomorrow though :-)
I'll be trying my best to beat the best January total of 68, which was set in the years 2009 and 2011, whilst my target for the year will be the average number of species seen per year over the past 5 years, which is 108.88 - or 109 lets say :-) Same as last year. However, i'd like to think I could beat the record year list of 113 species, set back in 2010 !
Photo's today ( of varying quality!)
|Goldcrest, pity it was on a piece of barbed wire!|
|I waited ages for it to settle somewhere a little more natural, but I was a fraction too slow and lost the chance!|
|Long tailed tit|
|Long tailed tit|
|Little Owl - a typical view :-)|
|Only a record shot - but bird of the day - a Little egret|
|Blackbird - dare i say the light was a bit too fierce in this shot ? - No I'd better shut up after the weather we've endured !|