Thursday, 23 October 2014

It remained cloudy and dull for the 5 hour full patch walk this morning, but it at least remained dry and the winds were light, a bonus at this time of year!

As yesterday, a total of 43 species were found, the average tally for an October walk, a few different species were on on todays list though, with a KINGFISHER being seen at the Ornamental lake, and both SONGTHRUSH and MISTLETHRUSH turned up at the Scrubby Woods. A GREY WAGTAIL was at the Greenhouse Grounds, plus a BUZZARD was seen soaring over the Ashes Lane Field during my skywatch, which also produced another flyover REED BUNTING and a flyover YELLOWHAMMER, both good species to find on my patch now. A CORMORANT was also seen going over during my skywatch, along with a few BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS, a couple of SKYLARKS, as well as the KESTREL pair, which hunted over Migrant Alley and the Greenhouse Grounds. Very few MEADOW PIPITS are left on the sheep pasture and the GOLDFINCH flock of some 30-40 birds had moved to the line of Alder trees that borders the Greenhouse Grounds.

Not a very exciting visit today, with all the summer species now gone and many of the winter species yet to arrive. The months list has stalled at 71, but that's still a good total and is the fourth best October from 13, while the year list of 107 is also a very good total for my patch, it's the 6th best total so far, the 13 year mean average annual tally is 101.5 .

No photo's left in the blog folder and no light for photography today, so an image-less post  :-(

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

 A hazy sunrise this morning

A full patch walk today was undertaken in some sunny conditions first thing, before cloud cover rolled in later.

During the five hour walk I recorded a total of 43 species, which is just about average for an October visit, notable omissions included Songthrush, Mistlethrush, Long Tailed Tit and Pheasant, but on the brighter side I had a couple of single YELLOWHAMMERS fly over, just the second record this month, plus a REED BUNTING was seen in the Greenhouse Grounds, which is an even scarcer species here.

A LITTLE OWL was seen at the Greenhouse Copse, with another at the Small Holding, where a SPARROWHAWK was seen halfheartedly chasing a GREEN WOODPECKER about the place! There was nothing of note on the lakes, but the adjacent Scrubby Woods had at least 5 BULLFINCHES moving around and calling, also 2 COAL TITS, a TREECREEPER, a NUTHATCH and 4 GOLDCREST were found.

High House Lane gets a mention today, it normally only gets visited on full patch walks and rarely turns up anything much, so over managed are the hedges and verges, even the old Oak trees that line the lane are pollarded all neat and tidy, anyway, today, behind the very tidy hedge, I saw two COMMON GULLS on the recently tilled field, also a flock of 26 HERRING GULLS, 4 BLACK HEADED GULLS and a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL were seen.

A circuit of Migrant Alley was made, but it was very quiet there today, there were no Linnets with the 30 or so GOLDFINCHES on the paddocks and only 4 MEADOW PIPITS were seen on the adjoining sheep pasture. My sky watch turned up a couple more species for the day list, namely GREYLAG GOOSE, CORMORANT, SKYLARK and the KESTREL pair, but not the hoped for Fieldfare, has anyone seen any this Autumn yet ?

I tried to get a few garden bird images later in the morning, but the Sparrowhawk has got the place pinned down! I chased the thing out from its ambush position in the Leylandi type tree at the bottom of my garden 3 times, at one stage it just stared down at me, not moving until I chucked a small pebble up in the tree! I'm getting fed up with it now truth be told  :-(