Finally completed the quartet of patch walks this morning between 9.00 - 11.00am. Walked east up Brick Kiln Hill and then headed south along the ridge to Winding Hill in Much Hadham before following the same route along the River Ash as used on the south west wander. Superbly clear morning with bright light. 29 species in all with the highlight being as I was removing my boots at the front door!
However, the usual Little Hadham birds were registered as I walked to the ford (jackdaw, rook, chaffinch, tits, thrushes etc) Upon the hill, by Field House a small flock of goldfinches went over. A search for treecreeper in lane hedgerows was unsuccessful but as I wandered towards Much Hadham a calling lapwing attracted my attention. A flock of 6 were then observed on the plough. Shortly after a lone herring gull lazed its was north, followed soon after by a flock of 16. A wander into a small coppice (Bush Wood) realised two green woodpeckers and one Great spotted. A suspected nuthatch was heard chipping away on a dead tree stump, but no views. Plenty of deer prints in the mud around a small pond means I shall pop back to see if I can get a photo or two.
Dropping down to the river valley proved fruitful, as I soon recorded the first mistle thrush of the weekend. Calling goldcrests in a conifer meant a five minute search before I observed two flitting around in the needles. They were accompanied by two marsh tits. I stopped here to photo the newly emerged snowdrops and also took the shot seen above, looking north up the now much quieter and emptier Ash.
A kestrel showed over Bridgefoot Farm before I arrived back home. As I was removing my boots 2 jackdaws called in an angry manner and I looked up to watch them mob a common buzzard. It circled over the house giving great binocular views. Pale underwings with strong barring were noted. Buzzard plumage can vary enormously, so worth keeping a note to compare with others I may chance upon. 4 new species for the village list.