In total contrast to yesterdays rather dull visit, todays six hour full patch walk was a very absorbing affair, with plenty of birds about! In all I found a whopping 57 species, threatening the holy grail of 60 species in a day, something never achieved on my patch, all I needed was any three from Pheasant, Little Owl, Hobby and Skylark to show up, all have been seen recently!
The visit started well when I found a WHEATEAR and a WILLOW WARBLER at Migrant Alley, as well as a flyover YELLOW WAGTAIL (68) to add to the months species list. Another new species was also added as I walked the Greenhouse Grounds, when an immature GREY WAGTAIL (69) was seen feeding along the newly created drainage ditch, the regular PIED WAGTAILS made it a three species of Wagtail day, a real treat for me here :-)
The Scrubby Woods and lake area were packed with birds this morning, on the water, 31 CANADA GEESE and the BARNACLE GOOSE, were noisily preening, also a KINGFISHER, a GREY HERON and a MANDARIN DUCK had joined the regular species, which today included the COOT pair that had come out of hiding. The habitat around the lakes and into the Scrubby Woods was host to a very large mixed feeding flock and leading them around were the until now, elusive LONG TAILED TITS (70). It was like a storm of birds around me, with BLUE TITS, GREAT TITS, COAL TITS, CHAFFINCH, BULLFINCH, ROBINS, WRENS, DUNNOCKS, GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS, TREECREEPERS, NUTHATCH, GOLDCRESTS, BLACKCAPS, CHIFFCHAFFS, a single WHITETHROAT, another 2 Willow Warblers and a GARDEN WARBLER all moving through at a slow walking pace, within ten to fifteen minutes most had moved through and off my patch boundaries, but it was great while it lasted, to witness such a variety of birds is a real privilege nowadys.
My sky watch was quite productive too, with the regular three raptors turning out - KESTREL , SPARROWHAWK and BUZZARD, plus a skein of GREYLAG GEESE and several flocks of HERRING GULLS, as well as a flock of 23 BLACK HEADED GULL and 3 single LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS.
The light just held out for me to get some photo's of this mornings Wheatear, this one was reasonably obliging, flying from perch to perch ahead of me, until I turned off and went my own way :-)