As I have in the last two visits, I set off to the College Grounds first thing, passing first through the Tree Nursery, where the sighting of the day was had - a JACK SNIPE (66) this could have been the same bird seen here in January, but either way, its a great bird species to have on my patch :-) Also of note in the Nursery were around 8 MEADOW PIPITS.
A cold wind blew across the frosted sheep pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley, where at least 200 Gulls had again gathered, the 2 MEDITERRANEAN GULLS were soon picked out, their strange calls helping with that, and a few COMMON GULLS were mixed in with the BLACK HEADED GULLS that made up the remaining flock.
|About 65 B H Gulls here with at least one Common Gull|
|Over 100 B H Gulls here ( note the hedgerow behind them, six years ago this was planted, what a state, i'll not mention the nearby establishment who planted it)|
|I actually managed a record shot of a very distant Med Gull|
|But one more step towards it and it was off!|
The College Grounds were much the same as yesterday, no sign of the Chiffchaff seen on Friday, so this March will go down as the first that I have not heard a Chiffchaff sing! Whilst ticking off the regular species seen at the gardens and grounds, I again watched the MISTLE THRUSH busily building its nest. I was saddened by the fact that it is probably wasting its efforts, it has built the nest above a bust walkway, a location that has failed before due to the disturbance it receives :-(
|Mistlethrush gathering nest materials|
|With better light today, and a bit of patience, I got a half decent Goosander photo, here's the male :-)|
March ended with a tally of 66 species being recorded, this is the joint 4th best March tally, joint with last year, in which the weather was totally the opposite, so i cant be too disappointed with that effort :-) The mean species total for the previous five March months is 67.5. Three more species were added to the 12 year combined species list for March, they were Jack Snipe, Egyptian Goose and Mediterranean Gull, that list now stands at 91.
Summer officially starts tomorrow, and with it ( hopefully) some spring migrants will arrive, this year I will be especially looking out for the likes of Cuckoo, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Turtle Dove, all of which are barely hanging on here, with just one or two breeding pairs left :-(