Sunday, 20 March 2016

A very short lived bright spell just after dawn was soon snuffed out by increasing cloud and patchy drizzle by 07:00hrs, at least the wind remained light, making it feel reasonably warm.

I made a 2 and a half hour patch visit this morning, heading for the lakes first off, via the Ashes Lane Fields, where a dozen FIELDFARE were seen, along with 20 - 30 STARLINGS, plus a lone MEADOW PIPIT flew over calling as it went.

I was able to confirm that the two pairs of COOT do indeed remain at the lakes, with one pair on the small lake, keeping two pairs of CANADA GEESE company and one pair on the ornamental lake with the MUTE SWANS, nothing else was of note on the water today though.

Calls and/or song was heard from GOLDCREST, LONG TAILED TIT, BULLFINCH, NUTHATCH, STOCK DOVE, MISTLETHRUSH, SONGTHRUSH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and GREEN WOODPECKER as I passed the Scrubby Woods, but that over due Chiffchaff was not heard!

As I left the area, a MANDARIN DUCK flew over, giving its strange call, plus the GREYLAG GOOSE x Canada Goose pair flew on to the main lake.

I spent some time over at Migrant Alley, where the two MEDITERRANEAN GULLS were found, their calls giving me a clue to their whereabouts in the 200+ BLACK HEADED GULL flock. Two LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS were also present, with another 4 flying over, the fourth Gull species seen was the HERRING GULL, of which 5 immatures were on one of the paddocks.

A 40 minute sky watch didn't produce any kind of spring migration activity, the only notable species heard or seen were a lone SKYLARK, a group of 4 REDWING, a few PIED WAGTAILS and the only raptor of the day, a COMMON BUZZARD, which flew into the Greenhouse Copse.

No images today, the Brambling didn't visit the garden this afternoon and I think we have had enough Lesser Redpoll and Siskin images for now !

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