Friday, 9 October 2015

A cracking Autumnal day weatherwise, with unbroken blue skies, warm sunshine and a light N wind, a bonus day at this time of year  :-)

The birding didn't do the fine weather justice though, as once again there was a large amount of disturbance at Migrant Alley from the sheep farmer, as there was in the Greenhouse grounds from a work crew, where unbelievably they were strimming at 07:15hrs! I bet the nearby houses loved that!

With all that noise going on, very little stayed around, though I did get to see the mixed flock of around 50-75 SISKIN and GOLDFINCH as they flew out of the Alder trees at the Greenhouse Grounds, with them was at least 1 LESSER REDPOLL which I heard calling, and a bit of a surprise, my first YELLOWHAMMER (58) of the month, which flew off with them all. It's shame about the disturbance, as these places are more likely to through up a surprise species or two at this time of year.

Siskin in the Alders

I headed off over to the Wooded areas of my patch, where a new species for the month of year list would be unlikely, but I recorded, of note, GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, BULLFINCH, GREENFINCH, JAY and a flyover GREY WAGTAIL.

The lakes might just provide me with a month or year tick, but not today, just 4 CANADA GEESE, 2 GREYLAG GEESE and a few MALLARDS and MOORHENS were on the water, whilst I was there, the massed skeins of Greylags and Canada Geese flew over.

I returned to Migrant Alley around 10:00hrs, but it was very quiet, my sky watch there provided views of 3 BUZZARDS up soaring together, plus the KESTREL was out hunting over the Wooded Headland. SKYLARKS, MEADOW PIPITS, more Siskin and Redpoll, PIED WAGTAILS, plus HERRING GULL and BLACK HEADED GULL were the only other noteworthy flyovers during my 40 minute stint.

Having not seen any summer species this morning I was pleased to see a CHIFFCHAFF in my garden this afternoon, traveling through with a flock of Long Tailed Tits. I tried to get a few photo's of them, but they didn't hang about, this COLLARED DOVE was scoffing all the nuts I put out though!

Nut nicker!

Thursday, 8 October 2015

The weather had changed markedly today, with long sunny spells and a light SW wind.

In the better conditions I undertook a 5 hour full patch walk, in which 44 bird species were recorded, nothing new for the month was found, but there was plenty to keep me interested none the less.

The SISKIN / GOLDFINCH flock, of around 50-60 birds, were feeding in the Alder trees at the Greenhouse Grounds again, where they were joined by at least 5 LESSER REDPOLL, but just one GREENFINCH and 3 LINNET were associating with the flock. A CHIFFCHAFF called from the nearby nettle bed, the only one recorded today. The hundreds of GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE made their morning journey to somewhere south of my patch again.

Lesser Redpoll

There was a male BLACKCAP at the Scrubby Woods, where NUTHATCH, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, BULLFINCH, GOLDCREST, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 3 MISTLETHRUSH and a few more Siskin were the best of the other species seen there today.

On the lakes just 40 or so Canada Geese, 2 Greylag Geese, 4 MALLARDS and 4 MOORHEN were present.

My sky watch back at Migrant Alley provided the rest of the more interesting species seen today, with the 3 regular raptor species all up hunting, the KESTREL around the greenhouses, the SPARROWHAWK around the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, and the amazing sight of first 1, then 3, then five and finally 6 BUZZARDS all interacting low over the greenhouses / Ashes Lane Fields. SKYLARKS, MEADOW PIPITS and more Siskins were also seen flying over, along with small numbers of HERRING GULLS and BLACK HEADED GULLS .

Whilst at home, around midday, I noticed a Goldfinch on the Teasels in my garden, the very reason I planted them, enabling me some ''Goldfinch on teasel'' images  :-)  As I took a few photo's, I saw 2 Lesser Redpolls drop in and use the feeders, the 30th species to use my garden this year,but before I could even turn the camera on them, the Sparrowhawk came dashing through, narrowly missing the Goldfinch........ the Repolls left in a hurry and were not seen again! Also, of note, I had my first HOUSE SPARROW of the month in my garden.

Goldfinch On Teasel.

The light was coming from the wrong angle to please me though!

The nearby ROBIN was crying out to be photographed as well!