With the good weather conditions I was hoping for a decent tally of bird species for todays patch walk, and although the count of 41 was better than on recent visits, it was still a bit on the low side, with the likes of Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Greenfinch, Stock Dove, Coal Tit, all not showing today, plus there were no sightings of any winter thrushes or Geese.
The best of the activity this morning was around the Greenhouse Grounds, where first thing I watched a small flock of a dozen or so GOLDFINCH feeding on Alder cones, with four LESSER REDPOLL and 3 SISKIN loosely associating with them. The pair of KESTRELS were sitting at their post roost poles, and a SPARROWHAWK went over menacingly.
Crossing the Ashes lane Field I heard just one MEADOW PIPIT fly over, plus 4 SKYLARKS, a couple of PIED WAGTAILS flew over to the Greenhouse Grounds, and the first BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS started to cross the sky. As I approached the Wet Woods a BUZZARD took off from the fence line, showing great skill in its flying abilities, avoiding the trees as it flew through the semi dark woods.
The lake area was only notable for the continued presence of the MUTE SWAN pair, and the Scrubby Woods was relatively quiet, with 6 BULLFINCH, a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 2 GOLDCREST, a couple more Lesser Redpoll and Siskin, plus the singing MISTLETHRUSH being the best of it, until the sighting of three RING NECKED PARAKEETS that noisily flew over, I wonder if they were the same three that were seen earlier in the month, there was no doubt that the one reported to me later in the morning from a garden feeding station was one of todays birds though.
I ended the visit back over at the Greenhouse Grounds, where I saw a LITTLE OWL, another was seen a bit later in the Greenhouse Copse. A flock of LONG TAILED TITS was scanned for any unusual interlopers, but just the normal BLUE TITS and GREAT TITS were among them today.
I didn't get a sniff of a photo opportunity, what a waste of all that good light! Sometimes it just doesn't happen though :-)
Back to the garden birds then! No Ring Necked Parakeet at my feeders, although the NUTHATCH, COAL TIT and GREENFINCH showed up, also had a Goldcrest come in and the first HOUSE SPARROW this month.