Friday, 31 October 2014

High, wispy cloud made for some very hazy brightness for the last patch visit of October, later in the morning the cloud burnt off and it became a lovely warm late summers day, Autumn day!

The four and a half hour full patch walk provided a good tally of 46 bird species, but alas, none were new for the month, so this Octobers species tally finishes on 74, which is the joint second best October out of the 13 years :-)

Bird of the day was the LITTLE GREBE, which I first saw on the 28th, I relocated it on the main lake, but I didn't find it on my two previous visits, just goes to show how unobtrusive these birds are! A KINGFISHER was seen on the ornamental lake, along with 10 MALLARDS, the MUTE SWAN family and 8 MOORHENS, while a GREY HERON was seen fishing at the small lake.

Just about all the woodland species turned out today, but in very low numbers, LONG TAILED TIT, COAL TIT, GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, BULLFINCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER, JAY and MISTLETHRUSH being the pick of them.

I found the LITTLE OWL in the Greenhouse Copse, before I settled down for a sky watch from my seat at Migrant Alley, which was quite interesting today, as I saw two flocks of FIELDFARE go over, one of 20 birds and another of at least 60 birds, but not a single call was heard from any! A couple of single YELLOWHAMMERS called as they flew over, as did a couple of MEADOW PIPITS, SKYLARKS ''trilled'' over the sheep pasture and a SISKIN called loudly as it flew low over, a party of 4 Bullfinch flying past was a nice sight. The three local raptor species were all found, those being KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK and BUZZARD.

So at the end of another month, 74 species were found, only 3 behind the record October tally of 77, two of those species were new to the 13 year combined October list, which now stands at 99, the Little Grebe and of course the Brent Geese, which were a patch tick, taking the year list to 108 and the patch list to 140  :-)

The only photo's I took were of this Long Tailed Tit........

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Today being the penultimate patch walk of October, I was hoping to try and squeeze another new species in for the months list, but I would still need to find 3 more to equal the record October tally of 77, which was set in 2010.

By the end of the 3 hour walk I hadn't added a new species, but there were a few bits and pieces still to be of interest to me. Over on the lakes the KINGFISHER was seen again, while in the bankside scrub a party of at least a dozen LONG TAILED TITS were watched, with them were a few BLUE and GREAT TITS, a COAL TIT, 2 GOLDCRESTS and a CHIFFCHAFF, nearby the calls of NUTHATCH and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were heard. The adjacent Scrubby Woods had 4 BULLFINCH feeding on old Blackberry seeds, plus the odd JAY was seen, a SONGTHRUSH gave a little halfhearted song  :-)

Other birds of note seen this morning were flyovers, in the form of SKYLARK and MISTLETHRUSH, but more pleasing was seeing another two FIELDFARE go over as well as a single LESSER REDPOLL.

I'll be doing a full patch walk in the morning, one last push to get the months tally up the rankings  :-)

Later in the morning I had a visit to Sevenoaks wildfowl reserve, mainly to try and get a Kingfisher shot from the Willow Hide, but although I did see a Kingfisher fly past, it didn't alight on the perches provided  :-(   It was all bit gloomy still anyway, so maybe it was just as well. I did point the camera at a few things, but the light was all wrong and I deleted most of the stuff, but I here's a few usable images......


Tufted Duck

Canada Goose having a brush up

Canada Geese exiting