A pair of BULLFINCH were working their way along ashes Lane as I set off, then, crossing the Ashes Lane Fields, a COMMON BUZZARD flew up from the grassland, as did a couple of MEADOW PIPITS. Flyovers from 18 FIELDFARE, a SKYLARK and the first few BLACK HEADED GULLS were all seen as I headed for the Wet Woods, where GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were heard calling.
Arriving at the lakes I could see the immature MUTE SWAN, the COOT pair plus a few MALLARD and MOORHEN on the ornamental lake, the KINGFISHER flew across an empty main lake, then scanning the small lake a SPARROWHAWK flew across my binocular view, nothing was on the water though!
Most of the scarcer woodland species were found in the Scrubby Woods, the LONG TAILED TITS were on their own, but singles of NUTHATCH and TREECREEPER weren't far away, nor was another pair of Bullfinch. GOLDCRESTS were numerous, and much checking of them didn't turn one into a Firecrest. JAY, STOCK DOVE, a flock of 28 GOLDFINCH and another flyover Skylark were noted before I left for the Greenhouse Grounds via the Small Holding, where I saw a single GREENFINCH with half a dozen CHAFFINCH, only the second Greenfinch seen away from my garden this month!
The KESTREL pair were busy hunting around the Greenhouse Grounds and the LITTLE OWL was in the associated copse, I scanned the 100+ Black Headed Gulls that were on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, finding one COMMON GULL among them, but not the hoped for Med Gull. A group of 3 REDWING flew over and 4 PIED WAGTAILS flew to and from the sheep pasture and Greenhouses.
Just ten more visits left before the years end now, 3 of those will be full patch walks, taking the total to 120, which is the target ive met every year for the last 13 years now. I still need one more new species for December, this would bring the 2014 monthly average species tally to 70, a rare achievement indeed, having only done it once before :-) This Decembers list is still way down in the rankings though, 60 species is only enough to take it into 8th position out of 13.
Little Owl at the Greenhouse Copse yesterday
Look at those talons, I reckon Little Owls have the largest talons of all the Owls, in relation to its body size!