Started off wet, and intermittent showers continued until the middle of the day. A warm south-westerly throughout, with the sun largely breaking through by the late afternoon. In total it was a relatively lengthy session, though nothing striking was seen. 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls moving high north-east over Hive Field under a dark cloud at 15:17 was a seemingly typical May passage record of this species. Elsewhere, at least 1 Spotted Flycatcher was present in Great Brook, an unseasonable Siskin was near Rowe Barn Farm, 2 Egyptian Geese were in Thorncombe Park and the first Little Grebe young of the year was seen.
At this stage, I've recorded pretty much all the regular, expected patch birds. A couple of species I hope I can still bump into remain (Barn Owl, Brambling etc), and Ring Ouzel is likely in the autumn, but it seems the chance of a bonus spring migrant (e.g. Nightingale, Redstart) has passed, and reaching my previously stated goal of 120 seems pretty ambitious. Still, this place has sprung a few surprises during these last few years, and it's all about being in the POMO (position of maximum opportunity, as drilled into me by many a football coach as a kid!) for the rest of 2017. I'm still undecided on why my POMO is, maybe the Ridge, possibly Allden's Hill or perhaps Hive Field - it's probably best to spread my bets.
I must give a few words to some recent mammalian observations. A Bank Vole at Winkworth this morning became the 13th mammal recorded this year. In the last week I have enjoyed two encounters with a Stoat, in the same place, suggesting local breeding. Bird sightings of interest are as follows:
Mill Pond: 1 Gadwall (♂), 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 6 Tufted Ducks (♂♀♂♀♂♀), 1 Little Grebe, 1 Mandarin (♀ + 4 young), 6 Mute Swans and 1 Blackcap.
Winkworth Arboretum: 1 Greylag Goose, 4 Tufted Ducks (♂♀♂♀), 1 Little Grebe, 3 Blackcaps and 3 Chiffchaffs.
Thorncombe Street: 2 Egyptian Geese, 4 Red-legged Partridges, 2 Blackcaps, 10 Swallows and 1 Siskin.
Bonhurst Farm: 4 Greylag Geese, 5 Swallows and 1 Blackcap.
Scotsland Farm-Leg-of-Mutton Copse-New Barn: 1+ Spotted Flycatcher (Great Brook), 1 Garden Warbler, 2 Little Grebes (+ 1 chick, on New Barn Pond), 4 Red-legged Partridges, 6 Swallows, 1 Buzzard, 1 Red Kite, 4 Chiffchaffs and 8 Blackcaps.
Hive Field (14:20-16:50): 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (high NE 15:17), 2 Swifts, 1 Raven, 1 Sparrowhawk (♂), 8+ Buzzards, 2 Red Kites, 7 Swallows, 3 Blackcaps and 2 Chiffchaffs.