I spent just 3 hours out, not really enough time to do a full patch walk justice, but in the cold conditions it was not a good idea to hang around in one spot for too long. I was surprised that I amassed a daylist of 44 species, as birds were very few and far between, even the likes of BLUE TIT, DUNNOCK, WREN and BLACKBIRD had to be winkled out !
As expected, no spring migrants were found, indeed the only signs of spring from the birds was a bit of song from a ROBIN and some drumming from a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER over in the Wet Woods.
Trying to pick out some highlights from the visit then - easily the best sighting was a flyover PEREGRINE (61) only the second sighting of one this year, it flew west over the Scrubby Woods, seen whilst I took shelter under some outbuildings next to the Lakes. On the Lakes were just 1 pair of CANADA GEESE which have a nest on the island, 1 pair of MALLARD, 4 MOORHEN and a COOT.
Both BULLFINCH and GOLDCREST called from the adjacent Scrubby Woods, and a TREECREEPER was seen there too, while overhead the first of 5 single LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS noted during the visit flew over.
A BUZZARD and a SPARROWHAWK were up hunting over the Tree Nursery, but there was no sign of a KESTREL today, unusually. 4 REDWING were moving around the shrubs, with at least 3 SONGTHRUSH and the GREEN WOODPECKER pair.
At Migrant Alley,18 BLACK HEADED GULLS and 2 COMMON GULLS were with the 50-70 ROOKS, and 5 FIELDFARE flew over, the only ones recorded this morning.
A GREY HERON was seen over on one of the small ponds at the College Grounds, where a small gathering of 6-8 SISKIN were seen feeding on fallen Alder seeds, MISTLETHRUSH, LONG TAILED TIT, PIED WAGTAIL and a good number of GREENFINCHES, (a good number being 8-10 nowadays) were all seen in the garden areas.
Not a bad visit, but not as enjoyable as previous March visits, both 2011 and 2012 on todays date had warm sunny conditions, with Chiffchaffs and butterflies!
No photo's today - sorry folks :-(