A four hour patch visit today ( minus an hour which was spent showing some students from the local college the local birdlife) didn't produce any new species for the year / month lists, but a couple of exciting species were found to keep my enthusiasm up. The first was a flyover LITTLE EGRET, this is the second record for this species already this year, they can be a hard species to get some years. The second bit of excitement was recording 2 GOOSANDER, both females, they were on the main lake, but didn't stay long, as a chainsaw started up in the garden that owns the adjacent ornamental lake, flushing them off, thus ruining my photographic opportunity!
There were plenty of woodland species to be seen in the warmer, sunnier parts of both the Wet Woods and Scrubby Woods, I recorded 5 GOLDCRESTS and 4 TREECREEPERS feeding in a loose flock, as well as finding COAL TIT, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH, JAY, STOCK DOVE, GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS. It was interesting to see the CHAFFINCHES gathering on the floor of the Wet Woods, something they don't normally do until early February, I always dream of finding a Hawfinch among them one year :-)
Treecreeper in the Wet Woods. A difficult place to photograph birds due to the poor light!
Another occurrence for late January / early February is the increase in the number of winter thrushes arriving, they gather on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, the Ashes Lane Fields and the Pub Field, all three places having a small flock sprinkled on them today, most were FIELDFARE, but small numbers of REDWING were also with them, plus the odd MISTLETHRUSH and SONGTHRUSH.
A BUZZARD flew low over the Ashes lane Field, sending all the Thrushes back over to Migrant Alley, where the only other raptor was seen today, the female KESTREL, which I watched take a GOLDFINCH in mid air, the Goldfinch looked to be struggling as it flew and was probably an old or sickly bird anyway, nature at work :-)
There was an increase in SISKIN and LESSER REDPOLL noted at the Greenhouse Grounds, a mixed flock of 30-40 being seen in the Alders there. :-) Here's a few images of them, from yesterday, I'll put up all of them as I have plenty of images in the 'Blog Folder' now, I was able to take some photo's in my garden this afternoon to fill it up! I even got an image of a HOUSE SPARROW among them, the first to visit this year, species number 22!