Numbers of birds seen were quite low, as would be expected, but as yesterday a good number of different species were encountered, with 50 being seen in all. The Tree Nursery provided me with the sight of 7 MEADOW PIPITS as they got up and flew off NW, then the Pub Field was scanned for an unlikely Wheatear, which of course in these conditions wasn't there, the muck spread field did attract 4 STOCK DOVES, a few WOODPIGEONS and about 45 ROOKS though.
Migrant Alley was a busy place this morning, a large flock of birds were on the sheep pasture, this was made up of about 120 STARLINGS, plus 60 FIELDFARE, 4 REDWING more Woodpigeons and Rooks, as well as a flock of approximately 40-50 BLACK HEADED GULLS which contained the 2 MEDITERRANEAN GULLS again, 2 COMMON GULLS and a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL were also with them, more exciting than all these though was the unlikely sighting of a pair of EGYPTIAN GEESE (79,65) that were stood amongst the massed birds! Amazing what these fields produce at times :-) these are the first Egyptian Geese since 2010.
On to the College Grounds, where most of what was expected turned up, GOLDCREST, PIED WAGTAIL,BULLFINCH, GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were all found easily, plus a nest building MISTLETHRUSH. An unlikely gathering of 8 GREENFINCH, 4 GOLDFINCH, 3 CHAFFINCH, 6 BLUE TIT, 4 GREAT TIT a COAL TIT, 2 BLACKBIRDS and Mistlethrush were all joining forces to mob something I couldn't see amongst an ivy clad tree, probably an Owl species, but the tree was in a private garden so I couldn't investigate further. A GREY HERON flew onto the college stream and 4 HERRING GULLS went over in formation - 5 Gull species in a day is good here :-)
I made my way over to the Lakes, Wet Woods and Scrubby Woods, on the way noting hunting KESTREL and SPARROWHAWK as well as hearing a flyover SKYLARK call. On the water today the GOOSANDER pair were still fishing, a CANADA GOOSE patrolled as its partner was attending the nest, and the COOT was presumable doing the same, but the nest site is concealed from me, if it has one at all. Only 4 MOORHEN and a MALLARD pair were noted here today.
Within the Scrubby Woods and Wet Woods, I found a few more species that had yet to be found this morning, NUTHATCH, SISKIN, PHEASANT, and JAY, plus the pair of MANDARIN DUCK again.
A good walk today, but made less enjoyable by this awful spring weather, at least the year list is creeping along, 79 species is good for this early in the year, whilst the Months list of 65 species is moving up the rankings, its sits in joint 5th place out of twelve now, with just one March day to go, it wont get much further - a bit disappointing.
I had no photo's from the day, until this afternoon, when a male Sparrowhawk swooped down and chased a Blackbird round my garden, the luckless Blackbird was caught, but then a second male Sparrowhawk swooped in and tried to steal the hard fought for meal of the first sprawk, after a bit of a scrap the second bird flew up onto the next doors washing line and watched its rival devour its prize - is it any wonder activity at my feeders has dropped of dramatically recently! I couldn't get a photo of the bird on the washing line, but here's the one with the Balckbird, shame it was through the double glazing though!
|Sparrowhawk 'mantling' its prey|