I spent most of the visit over at the Wet Woods, Scrubby Woods and Lake area, on the way, as I walked across the Ashes Lane Field, 3 MEADOW PIPITS were seen and 3 CORMORANTS flew over.
After quickly establishing there wasn't anything majorly exciting on the lakes, except maybe the KINGFISHER and COOT pair, I gave the bankside vegetation and Scrubby Woods a good looking through, finding all the sometimes hard to see woodland species, like LONG TAILED TIT, COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH and JAY, as well as at least a dozen GOLDCRESTS and 8 BULLFINCHES, four of which ( 3 males and a female) were feeding in a Hawthorne bush. There is nothing quite like the sight of a gathering of rosy breasted Bullfinches feeding in a Hawthorn with the rain drops glistening off the bare branches early in the morning, except maybe if the branches were frosted ;-)
I also saw a couple of MISTLETHRUSHES, only the second record this month, two FIELDFARES flew over, they have been scarce here this month too, however, the sighting for the morning was that of my first MARSH TIT (109, 62) since March last year. Single Marsh Tits have wintered on my patch over the last few years, but I thought I'd lost them, as normally if one turns up it is here by Sept - Oct. A very pleasing addition to my year list though, this species brings up the 2014 patch list to 109, which was my target for the year, 109 being the average yearly tally for the previous five years.
I spent a short while at the Greenhouse Grounds and Migrant Alley, where the best bits were a sighting of the KESTREL pair, a SPARROWHAWK, over 200 STARLINGS out on the sheep pasture, and 84 BLACK HEADED GULLS on one of the paddocks. Flyovers from LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL and YELLOWHAMMER were also noteworthy.
This afternoon, before the rain came, I watched the garden feeders for a while, ever hopeful of my first Brambling of the year turning up, but it wasn't to be, I did have a Goldcrest turn up though, they are everywhere at the moment! There were plenty of GOLDFINCH feeding too, a couple fed on the Teasels I planted, sitting up nicely on the heads for a photo opportunity, I did get a few shots, but it was far too gloomy for any decent efforts.........here's the results though :-)