On a warm sunny, morning, I carried out my 'late' Breeding Bird Survey in my allotted 1km grid square SO7713 around Clarke's Farm, Hardwicke. The highlights were a Raven, five Stock Doves, two Reed Buntings, 3+ Yellowhammers, a Green-veined White and three Brown Hares (Photos of Raven and Chiffchaff: © Paul Masters).
The full species list for this year (from both early and late season visits) was: Grey Heron, Shelduck, Kestrel, Pheasant, Moorhen, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Skylark, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting. Total species count for 2007: 39 (The total species count for 2006 was also 39, the total number of species recorded for 2007 and 2008 is 46.)
I stopped off at Sellars Bridge on the way back to find two Common Terns along the canal. The bridge-keeper there told me there had been Gannet on the canal there earlier in the week - 3 or 4 days ago. The description was good - large bird, blue-grey bill, yellow on head - he said it was identified by a knowledgeable passer-by. The bird was apparently looking exhausted, seemed to swim oddly and was quite approachable. That would have been a nice tick for the patch! Note - the canal towpath is temporarily closed for 'health and safety' reasons between Sellars and Parkend bridges.