Tuesday 28th January 2014
After the socialising at Hams Hall it was back to the solo birding that is patch watching today. In its way it proved to be an interesting walk in the mud. With dark clouds overhead I decided against doing the full circuit and headed south.The path took me past several large fields with neatly trimmed hedges.The most obvious birds were a large (200) flock of mainly Redwing with Fieldfare mixed in. Also in the same field and quite close to the path were 30 Pied Wagtails. Walking on there were Yellowhammers dotted about on the hedge tops and small numbers of Meadow pipits. As the skies lightened I decided to head back to do the full circuit. It was on the way back a flock of finches flew up from amongst the Thrushes. They were largely Chaffinch, but also Linnet and 2 Bramblings. When the thrushes also flushed I thought about Merlin but in fact it was a Peregrine circling overhead.
By comparison the usual circuit had very few 'winter' birds. There were 4 Grey Heron along the river as well as some woodland species such as Nuthatch and Great spotted Woodpecker. Two Kestrels side by side like Swallows were unusual and there was a flypast by 3 Cormorants. It was also unusual to not see a single Skylark but perhaps not entirely unexpected given the weather conditions.