I headed over the College Grounds via the Greenhouse Grounds and Migrant Alley first thing this morning, I needed to get to these places before the start of the lambing Weekend disturbances, as it happened though, the weather was so cold and miserable, very few visitors arrived compared to recent years.
The unspringlike weather didn't just keep the visitors away, birds were also at a premium, just the hardened regulars of MISTLETHRUSH, ROBIN, DUNNOCK, CHAFFINCH and WOODPIGEON were the only songsters heard, with some half hearted attempts from GREAT TIT and GREENFINCH.
There were 7 FIELDFARE and 4 REDWING on the paddocks at Migrant Alley, along with a few ROOKS and JACKDAWS, whilst the College Grounds were more subdued than earlier last week in that warm sunshine, just JAY, PHEASANT, PIED WAGTAIL, GOLDFINCH, SONGTHRUSH and HOUSE SPARROW were added to a short daylist of just 25 at that point.
I made my way over to the lakes, passing through the Tree Nursery on the way, noting BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS go over, but no Kestrels or Sparrowhawks today :-( A MEADOW PIPIT that flew up from the long vegetation was a bonus for the day, but the GREEN WOODPECKER seen was a Tree Nursery regular.
On the lakes today only the COOT pair and a MALLARD pair were seen along with the 3 - 4 pairs of MOORHEN, a few BULLFINCH were heard in the nearby Scrubby Woods, as was a singing COAL TIT and a singing STOCK DOVE, a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER drummed, plus the spring call of a NUTHATCH rang out.
I walked back home via the Wet Woods and Small Holding, but little was noted apart from a calling LITTLE OWL, in all a bit of a disappointing 3 and a half hour visit - for early March, just 39 species were winkled out :-(
Before some showery rain set in, I spent an hour trying to photograph the Garden regulars back home, but it was hard going in the gloomy light. here's the better shots I obtained -:
|Great Spotted Woodpecker, this bird was so close i didn't have to crop the image at all, I just wish I had time to zoom out a bit to get its feet in the shot :-)|