The weather for today's visit to the common couldn't have been any more different from the previous few visits with blue skies and sunshine the order of the day, although there was a very strong cold wind blowing in from the northwest.
I started my visit over at Hillditch Coppice. Here I added Coal Tit to the year list and was also treated to good views of Goldcrest, Redwing and a flock of 11 Long-tailed Tits.
Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)
At the coppice I also found 2 very small hibernating metallic green beetles sp. which I am yet to id. One was under a log amongst the leaf litter and the other within the spikes of a Sweet Chestnut case. Also of interest in the coppice was a large Southern Bracket fungi.
From the coppice I headed over to the main car park area of the common to do a bit of sky watching in the hope that these strong cold winds that were heralding a cold snap in parts of the country may cause a bit of cold weather movement. Conditions like these in winter can often cause movements of species such as Golden Plover and Lapwing. I had no such joy today but I did pick up 2 Ravens that flew over the common heading west. Also, at one point, there were 4 Common Buzzards up (2 over the lower terrace of the common and 2 over Hillditch).
What was food for thought however from was the fact that from the main car park area there is a clear 360 degree view of the sky which is perfect for Vis Mig (visible migration). So come spring I can see a few early morning visits sat at the picnic table with my binoculars (and a flask) scanning the skies.