It was noticeably colder on the patch today with a fair bit of ground frost. No blue skies either just dull grey and overcast. To add to the sombre feel of the day Witch Lane, Butts Lane and Heath Lane were practically bird less bar a few Corvids and Wood Pigeons. It was beginning to look like I was gonna have one of those 'Deadstone' days...thank heavens for the fields off Stanklyn Lane that's all I can say!
On arriving at Stanklyn Lane, I walked through an equally quiet beet field and took the path to Summerfield and Tuesday's rather productive sheep field. I was disappointed, on arrival I saw 30+ Corn Buntings, 9 Yellowhammers and 4 Reed Buntings along the hedgerow. c.150 Linnets were feeding in the adjacent stubble fields. A large mixed finch flock was also present in the trees next to the stubble including the ♀ Brambling (I'd wondered where she'd got to), c.100 Chaffinch, 20 Greenfinch and 5 Goldfinch. Also nearby were 10 House Sparrows and a ♂ Great Spotted Woodpecker. On returning to the lane I saw a ♀ Kestrel and a Sparrowhawk, whilst a Raven could be heard 'kronking' nearby.
So what I was expecting to be a bad day on the patch didn't turn out too bad after all!
Prior to arriving at the patch, I had visited another of my regular haunts, Hartlebury Landfill. This morning there were c.80 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, c.40 Herring Gulls and c.200 Black-headed Gulls present in the adjacent fields. The highlight though was a brute of an adult Great Black-backed Gull. It is quite possible that it is the same individual I flew over Witch Lane on the 15th January with 4 LBB Gulls, the two sites are only just over a mile or so apart and the bird was flying in that general direction. Unfortunately the light was poor today so I didn't get any photos...so I'm going to cheat and put up a shot of a Great Black-backed Gull that I took last year from a location no where near the patch...ah well.
Great Black-backed Gull - October 2010: