I visited the patch late morning/early afternoon today. I started my visit at Tony's Cafe for a bit of liquid refreshment before heading out over the fields. Captains Pool was quite today with the only birds present being a single Grey Heron, the resident Black-headed Gull, 4 Canada Geese and the ever present Mallards.
My first proper walk was around the Butts Lane/Barrs Lane area. Whilst walking the usual circuit I counted 11 Meadow Pipits, 3 Pied Wagatils and a Skylark over. There were 2 Coal Tits present in the pines by the vicarage.
On walking the footpath next to the brassica field there was a flock of 50+ Linnets present. Shortly after seeing the Linnets I had my undoubted highlight of the day. I continued waking the foot path when a Merlin (fem/imm.) flew up out of the brassicas and dropped back down about 20 metres away. The bird then flew up again going high and heading West towards Stanklyn Lane. The first date for Merlin last autumn was on 11th October 2010 by TMH & AW.
Continuing my walk picked up a Wheatear in the freshly ploughed field next to the Butts Lane/Barrs Lane triangle. Also present on the plough were 23 Herring Gulls & 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. I also had a single Migrant Hawker dragonfly along Butts Lane.
Elsewhere on the patch, 5 Common Buzzards drifted over Heath Lane heading SE. At Witch Lane there were 9 Stock Doves, 30+ Greenfinch and a Kestrel of note.