I spent 5 hours out, undertaking a full patch walk, where I recorded 43 species, which is just about average for a full patch walk. No new species were found for the months list and most of the habitats on my patch were pretty quiet, the most noteworthy species being GOLDCREST, I found at least 14 as I walked the Small Holding, Wet Woods and Scrubby Woods, the latter habitat also provided sightings of NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH and a flock of 8 LONG TAILED TITS of note. A pair of CANADA GEESE were the only birds visiting the lakes this morning and they didn't stay long.
It was very different at the Greenhouse Grounds though, where the Alder Trees and the area of weeds and thistles had attracted a good range of finches, with 40-50 SISKIN, 20-30 GOLDFINCH, 5 LESSER REDPOLL, 4 LINNET, plus 5 YELLOWHAMMERS, these were joined by the 15-20 CHAFFINCHES and 15-20 GREENFINCHES that were feeding on the sunflower hearts that I have put out along the boundary hedgerow. All this, plus a sprinkling of BLACKBIRDS, WRENS, DUNNOCKS, ROBINS, SONGTHRUSH, GREAT TITS, BLUE TITS and a greenhouse full of PIED WAGTAILS made for a great sight and sound, so many species on a weedy piece of habitat no bigger than two tennis courts!
SKYLARK, FIELDFARE, REDWING, GREY WAGTAIL, and MISTLETHRUSH were seen flying over, whilst out on the pasture at Migrant Alley the BLACK HEADED GULL flock had returned to feed, albeit briefly as they were disturbed by students mending the fences, just 2 MEADOW PIPITS were noted out there, with another 5 seen on the Ashes Lane Fields earlier.
View of two of the fields of sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, just think, if the perimeter of these fields were left as wild, weedy areas, they too could support many species over the winter, as the Greenhouse Grounds do.
I waited around for ages for a bright spell and the opportunity to get near one of the Lesser Redpolls to coincide, but eventually they did, and I got some passable images of one :-)
On a fine frosty morning, these images would look so much better, but I have to take what I can :-)