It was a real struggle to find much this morning, but here's what I saw in order of appearance...........
Leaving the house and walking along Ashes Lane, WOODPIGEON, CHAFFINCH and a flyover HERRING GULL were first birds in the notebook, quickly followed by HOUSE SPARROW, JACKDAW, STARLING, GREAT TIT and WREN. A COMMON BUZZARD was seen feeding in the field off of High House Lane, then CARRION CROW, BLACKBIRD and MAGPIE were seen as I entered the Small Holding, where I added not another thing to the days list!
Walking through the Wet Woods just three bird species were added, those being GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, MOORHEN and BLUE TIT, where had all the birds gone ? The lakes were visited next, but it was just as poor here, with only the MUTE SWAN family and the COOT pair keeping the day list going, not even a Mallard was seen :-( The adjacent Scrubby Woods gave up it's species only begrudgingly, with singles of GOLDCREST, JAY, BULLFINCH, NUTHATCH, DUNNOCK, and at last a ROBIN, plus, a flock of 8 LONG TAILED TITS and a GREEN WOODPECKER were found eventually. A PIED WAGTAIL, a REDWING, a BLACK HEADED GULL, and a small flock of around a dozen GOLDFINCH flew over as i stood and listened for calls.
Having a dreadful tally of just 29 species on my list, I headed off over to the Ashes Lane Fields, here I saw the male KESTREL up hunting, and a lone MEADOW PIPIT ''seep'' ''seeped'' as it flew from the grass. I walked the pub field which was totally devoid of any bird life whatsoever, then entered Migrant Alley, which provided the ever present ROOKS, but despite a walk around the sheep pasture and paddocks, then a search of the Greenhouse Copse and Greenhouse Grounds, I added not a single species to the days list.
I settled down for a very chilly sky watch, which in the 40 minutes produced a couple of species, one was a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL, the other a much appreciated LITTLE EGRET, a very good species for the December list and easily the bird of the day. I eventually headed off home, as I needed to be there for a parcel delivery, which came on time, allowing me to have another quick look over the Greenhouse Grounds and Migrant Alley, but the poor birding continued, I added just SONGTHRUSH and COMMON GULL, 3 of which had arrived on the sheep pasture with 14 Black headed Gulls during my hours absence.
An unbelievably poor day list of just 36 species was found overall, I would expect 43 - 46 normally, I didn't even find a Collared Dove, the first time ever on a full patch walk!
Later this afternoon, I had a garden watching session, where I did at least add the likes of COLLARED DOVE, plus COAL TIT, GREENFINCH and a most welcome TREECREEPER, this is normally a very rare visitor to my garden, having only one medium sized Elder for it to forage in, but this is the fourth month in a row I have had it visit, good to end on a positive note then!!
Bird of the day - Little Egret, this is an archive photo!