I was only a few yards into my walk today when I was greeted with a special welcome, a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. It called from a half-dead Oak tree, but frustratingly kept itself hidden from view. 2 Goldcrests called from a Yew along Laurel Walk, 2 parties of Long-tailed Tits were seen, 2 Nuthatches called from the wet woodland along the Len, at least 37 Redwing were seen, with most birds flying over and 1 flock giving great but brief views, 8 Jays were noted, 4 Green Woodpecker were seen, 2 Bullfinches were heard, a Treecreeper decided to give a burst of song along the track by the Weir, a few Song Thrush were noted, some Mistle Thrush were seen and heard in the area in front of Mote House, 1 Stock Dove was seen, 2 Meadow Pipits were observed over the rough grassland, and a Pied Wagtail flew west.
I spent quite a bit time by the wet woodland along the Len to see if I could find the flock of Lesser Redpolls that I saw on Friday. After 20 minutes of watching the antics of the local Jackdaws, I noticed a small group of finches fluttering about, high up in the tops of the Alders. Only a few seconds after finding the birds, the bouncy, tightly packed flock lifted off of the tree and flew towards the eastern edge of the Lake. After catching up with the flock I was rewarded with some good views. The birds, now reasonably still, could be identified easily. There were 17 Goldfinches, 4 Siskin (the first for the year), and 1 Lesser Redpoll. Fantastic.
On the Lake there were at least 6 Mute Swans, 2 Cormorants, 46 Canada Geese, a Great Crested Grebe with a juvenile, and 5 Shoveler – 3 males and 2 females, there were also countless Mallards, Coots and Moorhens. The gull flock on the Lake consisted of 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 1 Herring Gull, at least 38 Back-headed Gulls, and 1 Common Gull. A Water Rail called from the main reedbed by the Weir, a Kingfisher fished along the Len, 2 Grey Heron were seen fishing, and 2 Grey Wagtails were also noted.
Also of note was the luck of seeing a Pike race out from under the footbridge and into a shoal of Roach, scattering the fish everywhere, even out of the water. An unbelievable, and probably a once in a lifetime spectacle.