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  :-(

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Early showers with a strong gusty wind meant little was seen on a three hour patch walk this morning, most of what I noted were flyovers, which included two skeins of GREYLAG GEESE, one of 9 birds and one of 6, plus a skein of 7 CANADA GEESE.  Two LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS, a few single BLACK HEADED GULLS and dozens of HERRING GULLS whizzed through on the strong wind, plus a few SKYLARKS flew over, half singing and half calling!

A CHIFFCHAFF was seen along the Pub Field hedgerow and a couple of MEADOW PIPITS got up from the Ashes Lane Field. There were 9 MALLARDS over on the main lake, and 2 on the small lake, the ornamental lake had the usual MUTE SWAN family and a dozen MOORHENS on it, but it was pretty hopeless trying to find anything in the Scrubby woods with the wind so strong, especially as the SPARROWHAWK was whizzing around as well.

I made some effort at a sky watch from my seat at Migrant Alley, on the way there I saw a pair of BULLFINCH fly across Ashes Lane, then in the Greenhouse Grounds a GREY WAGTAIL was seen. My sky watch didn't provide anything of note, just more Meadow Pipits, Skylarks, Gulls, WOODPIGEONS and ROOKS, I spent more time watching the KESTREL pair behind me sitting on the Greenhouses!

Better luck tomorrow maybe ?

I'm down to the last of my images for the blog again...........................