The dull anti-cyclonic gloom continued this afternoon, but it was brightened up by a pair of MUTE SWANS (73), one more for the year list! Yes I know it's another easy to see bird, easier maybe than the Coot, but not on my patch, such are the joys of local patch watching, where common birds can take on their own particular status. Last year Mute Swan was recorded on 8.3% of ''full visits'' and the Coot 7.4% ( 120 Full visits are made per year). This was a good year, but the frequency of sightings was only down to relatively long staying individuals!
Other sightings that brightened the day were - 4 different flocks of LONG TAILED TITS, the largest being in the wet woods, at the entrance from the small holding, with them were the GOLDCRESTS, COAL TITS, TREECREEPER, and a NUTHATCH. SISKINS also featured today, with the largest flock again in the wet woods, 20 -30 feeding in Alders, but also small groups seen in various places leading up to the lake area. Also on the lake were the usual MALLARD, and MOORHEN, but as I watched the Swans a pair of TEAL dropped in with a splash, and swam straight to the nearest cover.
Lots of work was going on in the tree nursery, but I have to go through it to get to Migrant alley, as walked through it the only bird seen was a lone GREEN WOODPECKER. Over at migrant alley, there was a gathering of JACKDAWS again, at least 70, and they were joined by 50 ROOKS and 6 STOCK DOVE. I took my usual seat on the horse jump, and watched the sky in the now ever gathering gloom, I got to see 3 GREY LAG GEESE flyover, and as I watched them disappear into the greyness, two dots were seen coming out of it, the dots grew bigger, and came ever closer, could be a new species for the year coming over I thought, but it soon became apparent they were CORMORANTS! Funny how from at least a kilometer out, they ended up coming straight over my head.
Above one of the Mute Swans, they were on different ponds, but grunted contact calls to each other, I don't suppose it was worth all that effort to get airborn just to hop the fence and be together!
Below are the two Cormorants that came in over my head, the pics show just how gloomy it was this afternoon!