My penultimate full patch walk of the month was undertaken this morning, in grey conditions, with a cold NE wind blowing. The day list was a little disappointing, with a total after 3 and a half hours of just 41 bird species. Of the regular species, Coal Tit, Treecreeper and Bullfinch went unseen, but a nice surprise awaited me on the main lake when the first 2 EGYPTIAN GEESE (70,60) for the year flew in, an unusual species for my patch, but they do drop in from time to time, nice to get the 70th species of the year at last, plus 60th species up for March.
Not much else to report from this morning, the only spring arrivals so far are the CHIFFCHAFFS, the winter species were only represented by a lone REDWING.
In bright and breezy conditions this morning, I embarked on my 8th full patch walk of the month, where only 40 bird species were recorded, with the likes of Bullfinch, Treecreeper and Long Tailed Tit going absent, plus the Fieldfare and Redwings have left the area now. I should still get the odd one passing through my patch though, as the median average last sighting date is the 30th March for both species.
The MUTE SWAN pair continue to use the ornamental pond, the owners providing them with daily seed handouts - shame they had to take away the natural food, of pond weed and inverts in the first place, still, we mustn't have an untidy pond must we!
NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, CHIFFCHAFF, GOLDCREST, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER, MISTLETHRUSH and STOCK DOVE were the pick of what was found in the scrubby Woods and Wet Woods.
Out on the farmland I recorded singles of YELLOWHAMMER and MEADOW PIPIT flying over, plus a few SKYLARKS were up singing, HERRING GULLS and BLACK HEADED GULLS also flew through, but despite a bit of sky watching I still didn't see the hoped for Grey Heron thats missing from the months list, normally such a regular species.
Just BUZZARD and KESTREL appeared for the raptor species this morning, reports of the Peregrine, seen at the nearby Tower at hadlow village promise a first sighting for the year for me???
Crocus' from my garden
Ladies Smock from my garden too, Orange Tip butterflies are not usually far behind the blooming of this flower :-)