A bit of a mixed day today, I had a dental appointment mid morning, so I didn't get as long a patch visit as I normally do, and it was all a bit of a rush, however I did find those MANDARIN DUCKS (55) for the April list, they weren't where I expected them though, they were in the drainage ditch that runs along the edge of the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, rather than in the Wet Woods :-)
In the very dull and gloomy conditions this morning, it was a pleasure to just stand in the scrubby Woods for a few minutes and listen to the bird song, which brightened things up. The standout song of CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, GREAT TIT and COAL TIT was woven together with the likes of TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, DUNNOCK, WREN, ROBIN and BLUE TIT, while the odd JAY screeched in the background and both GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and BULFINCH called nearby, quite something to listen to, all that was missing was a migrant Willow Warbler :-)
Other bits noted on my shortened visit were the LITTLE OWLS at the old shack in the Ashes Lane Field, where a pair of SKYLARKS sang, and flyovers from HERRING GULL, LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and BLACK HEADED GULL were seen above Migrant Alley.
After my dentist appointment I went back out for a quick stroll over to my seat at Migrant Alley, mainly for a sky watch, hoping to see my first Swallow of the year, they have been recorded in 8 of the previous 12 years by todays date, the median average arrival date being the 2nd April, so they are a bit late this year. I scanned the grey sky for an hour, but didn't get to find one, I did however manage to see my second RED KITE (56) of the year, a good consolation! Also a pair of SPARROWHAWKS were displaying high up, and a BUZZARD drifted low over, a KESTREL made it a 4 raptor species day :-)
No chance of any photo's today, and the Blog photo folder has run dry, maybe i'll fare better tomorrow if the sun comes out for any time :-)