Monday, 29 February 2016

There was a slight frost for the last patch visit of the month, when there were some good sunny spells through the patchy cloud.

I was hoping to add just one more species to the February list, but failed to do so on my 3 hour patch walk The lakes were checked, one of the most likely places to turn up a new species, but only the MUTE SWANS, COOT, CANADA GEESE, MALLARDS and MOORHEN were found, yesterdays 4 Goosander had left, typical as there was now some decent light to photograph them by!

Mute Swan on the ornamental lake - an easier option for the camera :-)

The Scrubby Woods were walked over, in the hope of finding the first Woodcock for 2016, but that species looks like it may well evade this years list now. I did however get some good views of GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, COAL TIT and LONG TAILED TIT, but I was having a bad day with the camera, failing to get any decent shots of them!

I had a good hour sky watching from my seat at Migrant Alley, where I was clutching at straws really, with the hope of a Lapwing or Reed Bunting flying over, but my vigil did pay off raptor wise, with BUZZARD, SPARROWHAWK and the PEREGRINE all being seen up hunting, the KESTREL pair were watched mating on one of the nearby Greenhouses making it a four raptor species day  :-)

So the month ends with the joint sixth best February tally, 64 species, six behind the record February tally, while the year list has stalled on 68, but hopefully March will turn up the first of our Spring migrants, Chiffchaff, maybe Blackcap, or if the weather plays ball a Wheatear or an early Swallow - much to look forward to :-)

Intermittent sunshine continued into the afternoon, so I was able to get a couple of 'Blog Brighteners' from my garden feeders ...............



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