Cold, very cold this morning. I detoured off my usual route into work to check out the northern perimeter of Oaken Wood in the hope of adding either Coal or Marsh Tit to tetrad TQ75C (Oaken Wood). I failed to find either species but not noticed a small charm of Goldfinches feeding in the band of silver birches just to the west of Gallagher's Gallop (cTQ718559), number 34 for the tetrad. Then, from no where 40+ Redpolls took to the air, calling distinctly as they looped back on themselves and into the trees nearest the gallop. I could see them flitting around and feeding but they were too distant and I'd run out of time to try and identify them all.....a job that would have to wait until my lunch break.
Cycling down past Kiln Barn Farm I noticed the dead Badger that I'd discovered on Wednesday had gone - too close to cattle to be left I guess.
Back out looking for Redpolls at lunchtime and the flock was quickly refound in it's original location. They were quite well dispersed amongst the birches and I only managed to pick out 10 individuals, all Lessers as far I as could make out, before the flock took to the air and I counted 42 birds, by far and away the largest flock I've had on patch. A couple of Bullfinches lisped nearby and a Kestrel was mobbed first by Crows but then by Rooks as it flew over. On the nearby gallop pasture were a mix of Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove (x11), Crows, Rooks and Jackdaws, but unfortunately all just over the tetrad line - three of those species are needed for TQ75C on BTO winter atlas. I took the track around the northern perimeter of Oaken Wood and then past Luckhurst Farm and back down Sweets Lane to the Research Station. I added Redwing (x3), Fieldfare (x9) and Jay the day list but didn't find the hoped for Skylark or Linnet that I thought I'd find at or near the Sweets Lane Stables.