Although on a bit of a time limit today, I was able to get round for a full patch walk, the 3 and a half hour visit rewarding me with no fewer than 51 species, but if time had allowed, I would have also surely found the likes of Coal Tit, Pheasant, Sparrowhawk and possibly the Mediterranean gulls among the BLACK HEADED GULL flock at Migrant Alley.
Black Headed Gulls - and 4 STARLING :-)
Of the 51 species seen, two were new for the year list, firstly, the overdue CHIFFCHAFF (71,63) was finally heard to sing from one of the islands on the ornamental lake, then seen well as it fed among the shrubs. The second addition to the year list was a bit less expected, a phone call from the local postman alerting me to a RED KITE (72,64) that was flying over just to the North of Migrant Alley was very welcome, I was already at my sky watching seat, so soon picked it up as it flew SE, a stunning male bird too :-)
The good birding day didn't end there, as I also added two more new species to the March list, one being a LINNET (65) that was singing from the Alders at The Greenhouse Grounds, the other, a LITTLE EGRET (66) that flew over the Ashes Lane Fields just about at photo height! These elevate this years March bird species list to 66, which is the joint fifth best effort out of 15, joint with March 2012 and 2013.
Little Egret - one more for the March tally
There still a few winter species about too, with flyover MEADOW PIPIT, SISKIN and LESSER REDPOLL being recorded, plus a dozen FIELDFARE on the paddocks at Migrant Alley, but just the one REDWING, that was feeding on the floor of the Scrubby Woods.
Other good patch species that turned up today were a TAWNY OWL that twice called from the Scrubby Woods at 08:30hrs, plus both KINGFISHER and MANDARIN DUCK on the main lake.
I got a few B H Gull images, not much else was posing today