I spent 4 hours out, in what, for the month of May, proved to be a very quiet visit, average at best. Just 41 species were recorded, none of them new to the month or year list. I still await the Spotted Flycatchers arrival, searching the College Grounds for one, as well as the large gardens along Ashes lane where territories have been occupied in years gone by.
There were a few bits and pieces to report though, over on the lakes the GREYLAG GEESE have hatched out at least 3 goslings, they didn't breed here last year, but in 2011 they had goslings by May 4th, so they aren't too far behind schedule. A new family of MALLARDS were found in the Wet Woods, these two species, plus the COOTS and the BLACKBIRD are the only birds to have produced young so far this year.
Three BUZZARDS were interacting low over the Greenhouse Grounds, a joy to watch as they tumbled and chased in the strong wind, a couple of LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, and 4 HERRING GULLS were also seen as I watched the Buzzards.
Later in the morning I visited the College Grounds again, something I don't normally do at that time of day as it is so busy over there, but I wanted to check the ponds for Damselflies, of which I only found one very wary Large Red, however I did get to see a HOBBY go whizzing past on the wind, and also got good views of a Grass Snake. A MISTLETHRUSH feeding on the College Sports pitch made the daylist up to 43, still well below what should be expected at this time of year though.
Good job the Grass Snake turned up, as it proved the only photo opportunity of the day! It was quite a nice size, over a meter long, shame I had changed lenses, the snake was out on the pond amongst the Reeds, so I couldn't get as close as I'd have liked, but the 300mm lens did an adequate job :-)
|You can see it was quite a good size specimen :-)|