A moderate SW wind blew heavy, wetting drizzle across the area initially this morning, but the rain soon turned heavy, not clearing until 14:00hrs.
I always like to get out on the first day of the new month for a full patch walk, whatever the weather, but today it was so dismal I conceded defeat after just 2 hours.
During the truncated patch visit I recorded just 30 species, not too bad considering I only got as far as the Greenhouse Grounds, the Greenhouse Copse and Migrant Alley. Here's what I found in order of appearance :-
A GREAT TIT was calling loudly, despite the weather as I set off along Ashes Lane, where I quickly added the likes of ROBIN, WOODPIGEON, BLUE TIT, JACKDAW, COLLARED DOVE, STARLING, DUNNOCK, BLACKBIRD, and MAGPIE.
Entering the Greenhouse Grounds there were 3 PIED WAGTAILS on the greenhouse rooves, they had an eye on the female KESTREL perched at the end. GREENFINCHES were singing their wheezing song, plus GOLDFINCH and CHAFFINCH were seen in the Alders, along with WREN, SONGTHRUSH and GOLDCREST in the brambles below, a couple of pairs of HOUSE SPARROWS were eventually located around the outbuildings.
A good find was a pair of BULLFINCH in the Greenhouse Copse, where there was also a pair of LONG TAILED TITS and a COMMON BUZZARD which flew out, heading for the Wet Woods.
A circuit of Migrant Alley added FIELDFARE and REDWING to the months tally as well as ROOK, CARRION CROW and a brave SKYLARK that sang up high in the driving rain. Only one Gull species was seen, that was a flyover HERRING GULL.
Both JAY and MISTLETHRUSH were heard calling / singing from the Wet Woods as I made my way back home along Ashes Lane.
Back home, I added a few species to the months list as I watched the garden feeders, these were - NUTHATCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, COAL TIT, SISKIN, LESSER REDPOLL and of course the SPARROWHAWK !
So, 36 species to kick of the March bird list, hopefully I can reach the mean average total for the previous five March totals of 67, but I think i'll do well to reach the record total of 71, set in March 2010.
No pics today - no light!