Sunday, 13 March 2016

Variable cloud cover came and went throughout this morning, allowing brief spells of sunshine, a cool NE wind developed later in the morning.

An early visit to the Greenhouse Grounds was only noteworthy for the KESTREL pair that sat on one of the Greenhouses, although it was good to hear so many of the common birds singing there, like GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, GOLDFINCH, SONGTHRUSH, WREN, DUNNOCK and ROBIN.

Out on the adjacent sheep pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley, very little was noted, just a few BLACK HEADED GULLS, it will take a few days yet I suspect before the place recovers from being used as a car park.

The 100+ FIELDFARE were still actively feeding on the Ashes Lane Fields, along with a few REDWING and 40-50 STARLINGS, plus as a bonus today, two YELLOWHAMMERS were also noted along the drainage ditch there.

I was convinced I would hear the first Chiffchaff of spring as I walked the Wet Woods, then the Scrubby Woods, as last year the first one was heard singing on the 12th March, but I failed to hear one, the 14 year mean average arrival date here is the 14th March, so any day now ............

Over on the lakes I fed the COOT pair and the MUTE SWAN pair, hoping to bribe them to stay and breed  :-)  Also on the lakes were 4 GREYLAG GEESE, 8 CANADA GEESE and the pair of Canada Greylag with their two hybrid offspring from last year, however the highlight there today was seeing a KINGFISHER speed low across the main lake.

A BUZZARD flew low over the lakes, whilst in the background I could here three MISTLETHRUSHES singing loudly, defending their territories.

I managed a few garden bird images again this afternoon, just to brighten the post............

The male Chaffinches are coming into full breeding plumage now

As are the male Redpolls, of which up to 14 are still plundering the sunflower hearts

Up to half a dozen SISKIN join the Redpolls

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