Myself and Whisky paid a visit to Aspley Wood this morning. I was hoping to find the Dartford Warbler that's been seen recently. I saw one a couple of years ago here, but the light wasn't that good.
Parked the car in the small lay-by by the big gate, and we walked up the track towards the gorse.
Blazing sunshine shining in our eyes made it difficult to see anything. Once we reached the top of the wet sandy path, we turned left. The sun was now shining over our backs, onto the gorse and conifers. Much better.
No sight or sound of a Dartford Warbler. No sight or sound of very much at all really.
A Magpie, couple of Green Woodpeckers, a hovering Kestrel, and a Pied Wagtail.
Whisky was fascinated by this little bird as it ran along, stopped, and then began running again.
Something bigger ran past in the distance.
A Chinese Water Deer.
A couple were running around, and thankfully Whisky didn't decide to join them.
By now the sun had vanished behind a bank of black sky, the light not the best for pictures. The wind was getting stronger too, and quite a chill with it.
Along one of the fenced areas a Stonechat briefly posed.
I decided on one more walk round the gorse in the hope of seeing this elusive warbler.
No warbler, but I was surprised to see a couple of conifers decorated for Christmas.
By now it was getting a bit cold, and since I wasn't really dressed for a cool winter breeze, I decided to head back to the car.
I stopped off by the old derelict barn/shed or whatever it once was, to see if there was anything of note there.
Full list of today's sightings
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola torquatus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Total species 9