As usual, the first day of the month starts with a full patch walk, here's the species that I recorded this morning, in order of appearance :-
BLACKBIRD, ROBIN, JACKDAW, BLUE TIT, WREN, WOODPIGEON, MAGPIE and a flyover FIELDFARE were the first birds on the list as I walked Ashes Lane to the Greenhouse Grounds, here the GREY WAGTAIL immediately showed up and the female KESTREL sat up on the greenhouse roof, SONGTHRUSH, DUNNOCK and GREEN WOODPECKER were about the place, but approaching the area where I supply the supplementary feeding, a mass of around 150 + birds flew up, among them were GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH, CHAFFINCH, LESSER REDPOLL and SISKIN quite something to see - almost like farmland used to be in the 1970's! I spread some more seed, then waited at a distance for the birds to come back, noting a couple of PHEASANTS and a GREAT TIT as I did so. Within a few minutes the birds arrived back and amongst the masses I picked out the BRAMBLING again, a very nice addition to the December list. A little further along, between the Greenhouses and the Greenhouse Copse I saw 5 YELLOWHAMMER fly up.
A PIED WAGTAIL flew over as I started my circuit of Migrant Alley, where out on the sheep pasture and paddocks I added BLACK HEADED GULL, HERRING GULL, COMMON GULL, CARRION CROW, ROOK and STARLING to the days list. On to the Pub Field, where the habitat is just so poor for any wildlife nowadays with its lone battered hedgerow and monoculture of grass silage, all I added to the list were a small flock of 7 flyover REDWINGS. Crossing into the Ashes lane Fields, which are not much better, I did at least find the few MEADOW PIPITS that are about.
Over at the lakes I was really pleased to see the COOT had remained to be counted for the December list, the MALLARDS and MOORHENS were also added, but I didn't find the Kingfisher today. Searching the lake edges and the Scrubby Woods, I found BULLFINCH, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, GOLDCREST, JAY, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and a singing MISTLETHRUSH for the December list.
The Wet Woods were visited next, where I listened to a TREECREEPER singing and also a NUTHATCH calling, then walking on through into the Small Holding area I added SPARROWHAWK and BUZZARD in quick succession as they flew over.
COLLARED DOVE and HOUSE SPARROW were added to the months tally as I walked along high House Lane, both anticipated here, but I didn't add a Skylark to the list, normally one or two can be heard over the adjacent Bustard Hill. I headed off homewards, via the Greenhouse Grounds, I just wanted another look at the finches ;-) a bonus was had though when I refound the overwintering CHIFFCHAFF again, another really good addition for December list. The only downside of the visit was seeing a pair of dog walkers making their way up the hedgerow where the finches were feeding, flushing them all off, why cant they just stick to the footpaths ?
At the visits end I had amassed a good total of 48 bird species to kick off December, still a way to go to get to the record tally of 73 that was achieved back in 2008, but I might just get to the mean average species for the previous 5 Decembers, which is 66.
No photo's again today and these are the last of whats in the blog folder, apart from a few more Redpoll shots!