|No rain this morning - just fog, you cant win!!|
I walked over to the lakes via the Ashes Lane Field at 08:00hrs, trying to pick out what I could as I went, CARRION CROW, DUNNOCK, JACKDAW, WOODPIGEON, GOLDFINCH, MAGPIE, WREN and ROBIN were all heard to call or sing, but none were seen! A small mixed party of LONG TAILED, BLUE and GREAT TITS were seen on the edge of the Wet Woods as I passed, further scanning produced a NUTHATCH and a STARLING, plus a couple of STOCK DIVES that flew out and into the fog.
At the lakes I was pleased to see that another female GOOSANDER had joined the 3 females and single male bird that have been there for the past two days, I duly noted the MUTE SWAN pair and the COOT pair, plus the MALLARDS and MOORHENS, but that was my lot, no new duck species for January.
I hung around as the fog cleared, and for two or three minutes the sun came out, before a short shower put an end to that extravagance, it did allow me to get some distant photo's of the Goosander though :-)
|These were about 50 meters away|
|This female did get to within 30 meters, after a long wait!|
The fog had cleared for the rest of my walk, but it remained overcast as I squelched and slid around the fields, where not much was found until I reached the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, here at least 30 HERRING GULL were found, along with a single BLACK HEADED GULL, plus, at last, a species for the year list, 3 COMMON GULLS (64) .
I ended my walk at the Greenhouse Grounds and the associated copse, the latter had the LITTLE OWL on its usual perch, whilst the former was good for the likes of GOLDFINCH, SISKIN, SONGTHRUSH, MEADOW PIPIT, and PIED WAGTAIL. A short sky watch was had, but just KESTREL and CORMORANT were seen of any note, that Grey heron that i've spent hours waiting for this month just didn't turn up, making this the first January ever that one hasn't been recorded on my patch, thats thirteen January's!
So by the months end I had tallied up 64 species, the third best January total, but the fifth most productive, as the January's of 2009, 2011 and 2013 all had a 68 species found, and 2010 had 65 species found. Lapwing didn't appear this month, only the second January not to have lapwing on the list, 2008 being the other. I could have expected a Teal this month as well, only 2 January lists have not had one, those being in 2007 and 2012. Throw in a Snipe, not that unusual in January and I could have equaled the highest January total :-)