By Monday (19th) the Mandarin numbers had risen to ten, and there was also a Grey Heron lurking near the boathouse first thing.
On Tuesday (20th) I was finally able to confirm my suspicions that there is more than one Water Rail on site, as there was one squealing at the northern end of Phillimore late afternoon, followed by another just a few minutes later on the western shore of Rowe's Flashe Lake. Working with a volunteer group in Furze Field for most of the day, I also noted a Kestrel and a Buzzard lingering on the power lines and fence in the field to the east, while a Raven flew east late morning. There were also two Grey Wagtails calling in Phillimore, occasionally flying about over our heads as we struggled to get a bonfire going!
This week also saw the finches beginning to join in the ever-increasing chorus of birdsong around the arboretum, with a Chaffinch singing near the car park on Monday morning followed by a Greenfinch down in Furze Field on Tuesday. The latter was particularly of note as Greenfinches have been rather scarce locally of late.
On Wednesday (21st) morning a Red Kite flew low west over the top of the arboretum, followed by at least four Common Gulls. There were at least five Redpolls along the Spring Walk and a Buzzard flew very low through the Foliage Glade.
Bullfinch and Redwing numbers have been typically good, the former a common sight and sound all over the site as usual, while the latter are currently best looked for in the Holly Wood, feasting on the berries!