I spent five hours out on my patch this morning, and another 2 hours this afternoon, amassing a respectable 48 species in the two visits, that's without seeing Pied Wagtail, Buzzard or any of the Kestrel pair, all of which have been seen daily of late.
It was good to hear the LESSER WHITETHROAT singing from the front of the Greenhouse Grounds and from the nearby hedgerow along Ashes lane first thing this morning, also the COMMON WHITETHROAT was heard singing from the back of the Greenhouse Grounds, but not until later in the morning. The adjacent Greenhouse Copse had a LITTLE OWL present, helpfully pointed out to me by an irate SONGTHRUSH, and a couple of bold CHIFFCHAFFS. A YELLOWHAMMER flew over calling, but it wasn't a good day for flyovers in general, with just a couple of HERRING GULLS and 3 LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS of any note.
Quite a bit of time was spent around the lakes and Scrubby Woods, where the 3 male MANDARIN DUCKS were seen again on the main lake, along with 2 GREYLAG GEESE and 2 CANADA GEESE, the territorial MUTE SWAN keeps all but the COOT off the ornamental lake, and the samll lake had just 2 MALLARD and 2 MOORHEN to add to the days sightings.
I listened long and hard whilst in the Scrubby Woods, but the hoped for Garden Warbler or Turtle Dove were not heard, BLACKCAPS and Chiffchaffs sang, as did BLACKBIRDS, Songthrush, CHAFFINCH, COAL TIT, GOLDCREST, DUNNOCK, WREN, and ROBIN, the latter of which I found a recently fledged youngster, number 7 for the 2014 ''Successfuly fledged young'' list. The TAWNY OWL was once again very vocal, but stayed unseen, as did the calling BULLFINCHES and screeching JAYS.
I checked up on the Mistlethrush nest on the way to the Wet Woods, but all is not well here, there was no sign of activity at the nest, and I didn't see a Mistlethrush all day :-( In the Wet Woods, both TREECREEPER and NUTHATCH were heard, as were STOCK DOVE, GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, plus a family of Mallard, seen amongst the branch and twig covered pools of water, all went very quiet there after a SPARROWHAWK went zooming through!
The afternoon visit didn't add anything much, I spent most of it watching the sky from my seat at Migrant Alley, where the SWALLOWS and LINNETS were of most interest.
Just 2 days left in the month now to try and improve the April list and get it up the rankings, at the moment it's in joint 4th place with 2009, maybe i'll get lucky with the Turtle Dove and Garden warbler, or perhaps an early Swift ? They would certainly boost the April list.
With the weather so dull again the Camera stayed slung over my shoulder, I had a photo session in the garden later in the day, but the light is just so poor, I deleted most of what I took, these two images just about being ok :-)