The first full patch walk of the new year is always eagerly anticipated, trying to get as many of those common and regular species on the year / months list as possible........this is how I got on this new years day, the species are listed in order of appearance.....
leaving the house as it was just getting light ( not that it got much lighter during the 4 hour visit!), the first bird on the year list was a BLACKBIRD, closely followed by BLUE TIT and a SONGTHRUSH which sang in the distance. JACKDAW, STARLING, MAGPIE, HOUSE SPARROW and COLLARED DOVE were all found as I walked along Ashes Lane towards the Small Holding area, where GREAT TIT, DUNNOCK, WOODPIGEON, ROBIN, WREN, CHAFFINCH and CARRION CROW were all recorded.
Entering the Wet Woods a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER was added to the days list, but no other new species were seen there, I had to wait until reaching the Scrubby Woods to add the next few species, which were; GOLDCREST, MISTLETHRUSH, GREEN WOODPECKER, a TREECREEPER in full song, GOLDFINCH, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH, LONG TAILED TIT, COAL TIT, JAY and a small group of flyover SISKIN. The adjacent lakes were, as ever, pretty dead, just MALLARD and MOORHEN were seen there.
The next species for the years list were found as I crossed the Ashes Lane Fields, here there were a good number of REDWING and FIELDFARE on the sheep pasture, maybe a hundred all in all, plus there were a few MEADOW PIPITS around.
Rain started to fall as I walked the Greenhouse grounds, making for an even more gloomy morning, I found PIED WAGTAIL for the years list, plus the male KESTREL that was perched up on one of the greenhouses, but nothing else was found that hadn't already been recorded.
A circuit of Migrant Alley, then a trundle across the fields to high House Lane and a look over Bustard Hill, proved very disappointing, Just BLACK HEADED GULL, HERRING GULL and ROOK were found, making for a miserly 37 species to kick off the year, the worst tally for a new years day walk on record! I dont like to have to keep saying it was the worst tally for this and the worse tally for that, but they are the facts, I cam only report what I find!
I did at least add GREENFINCH for the day, when two turned up at my garden feeders this afternoon, they are alarmingly scarce out on the farmland now, 17 other species also used my garden habitat today, which were ; GOLDFINCH, CHAFFINCH, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, COAL TIT, HOUSE SPARROW, DUNNOCK, ROBIN, STARLING, COLLARED DOVE, WOODPIGEON, SONGTHRUSH, BLACKBIRD, NUTHATCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, JACKDAW and MAGPIE.
So, in all, 38 species to kick off the January list, will I get anywhere near the record January species tally of 68, which was recorded in 2009, 2011 and again in 2013 ?