Another greyish day but not too cold and it was dry, my usual start in the car park was dominated by calling and singing Chaffinches and by the end of the walk the total of singing males just made double figures. Fieldfares were thin on the ground today with only a group of 3 seen flying over the veg garden. I counted 5 singing Song Thrushes on the way round with only 3 each of Treecreeper and Nuthatch. The flocks of Tits already seem to be getting a little smaller and around 10 Long Tailed were seen in 3 separate flocks.
I decided on one of the slightly longer routes today as I had got to the castle just before 7am. This was rewarded when I heard some rapid drumming and the call of a LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (73) from near a small stand of Alders, as I got out into the open I heard the bird again but this time further away just outside the estate, a short wait and some scanning didn't prove fruitful but a really pleasing bird to get. They have bred on or near the estate ever since I started watching here but mostly have proved difficult to see regularly through the year, from now until April/May can be good and then again in for a short time in autumn.
The rest of the walk didn't exactly pale into insignificance but I had had the highlight of the morning . I did hear Yellowhammer, Coal Tit and Skylark as well as having 5 Linnet fly over. Year ticks for the patch are difficult in February after the rush of January so any addition is welcome.