Sunday, 18 October 2009

It felt cold this morning, the sky was a clear icy blue, and a gentle NW wind was just about blowing. I wasn't expecting much on this mornings walk round, after yesterdays success, and it seemed as though I was going to be proved correct when at the halfway point of my walk I had recorded just 32 species. Three of them were when a flock of Gulls flew over the tree nursery first thing, HERRING, BLACK HEADED and LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL.

Migrant Alley was very quiet, just a couple of flyover SKYLARK, PIED WAGTAILS and a single MEADOW PIPIT, but not one Linnet was seen. The manure heap at the end of Migrant Alley, was again visited by the GREY WAGTAIL, always nice to see that species, but the college grounds and adjacent stream had very little to offer today. REDWINGS were still going over travelling west, but far fewer than yesterday.

It was the second half of my walk that was to hold the better birding fortunes today, a further 13 species were added to the days list, species such as GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, MISTLE THRUSH,GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKER as well as STOCK DOVE and LONG TAILED TIT, all turned up as I walked through the small holding and wet woods, these species are almost always picked up on the first half of my walk.

I could already hear geese on the lake as I approached it from the wet woods, and when I arrived I was surprised to see 38 CANADA GEESE all noisily ''honking'' away, with a GREY HERON looking out of place amongst them. However as I checked them all out, I saw one individual who was not quite a canada Goose - it was a BARNACLE GOOSE (127: 107), fantastic! What a way to bring up a new record yearly total, with a patch tick.

I had enough time for a quick re-visit of Migrant Alley, and scanned the sky for that Cormorant that surely must be added to the months list anyday now, but it wasn't that species that joined the months list,it was a flyover RING NECKED PARAKEET ! It looked magnificent as it's green plumage was seen against the azure blue sky. That species brought up the 45th of the day, much more like an average October Total.

This afternoon I went out to my seat, by the tall hedge at Migrant Alley, just for an hour. Before I had reached the seat I found this mornings 'missing' LINETS, flying around the tall hedge, as I watched I was aware of another bird on the fenceline, I turned to look, and saw a lovely female STONECHAT, it flew to the greenhouse complex, and I watched it through my binoculars, where it was joined by a male, what good fortune! My second pair of Stonechat this month, superb little birds! I took my seat and gave the sky a good scan, a KESTREL flew over as well as a YELLOWHAMMER, bringing the day total to 49, and what was number 50 ? ............CORMORANT - 3 of them flew over high!

So the good fortune carried on, despite an unpromising start to the day, in fact it's been a bloody good weekend! 67 now for the month and 107 for the year.

Above: all quiet in the wet woods, and the same at Migrant Alley below. The hedge in the background is the ''tall hedge'' favoured by some great migrants this year.

Below is the the record breaker, the 107 species - Barnacle goose.

Above and below: GOLDFINCH, seen in a row of alders, just down from the tall hedge.

Above and below: Female Stonechat

Below is the Male Stonechat - not very clear, but I couldn't get anywhere near them!
Below: A Linnet, sitting in the tall hedge.


Jann said...

Nice scenic shots, besides the bird ones, Warren. Congrats on that barnacle goose! And the ring-necked parakeet; will have to do a web photo search for that...I saw ring-necked birds myself yesterday; in my case, pheasants.

Oxonhoath Birds said...

You deserved to find that goose Warren with the dedication you have.

Stewart said...

Great record Warren, I hope you can sneak another couple in before the year end...

Chris said...

A parakeet!!! Gosh where do you live?? ;-) What is it doing there??? Is that a usual species in your area!!!
You know what, it is funny to see that you are getting 107 species for the year today, cause I got the 93 today... I was just out two minutes ago, enjoying some pine trees environment when two robins (quite rare in iceland) just landed few meters away from me, just the time to ID them thought, no pictures!!! I'll go back next week to see if they stay around.. I also saw common crossbills at the same place, but I had seen them already this year... So 93 is the number Sir!!!

ShySongbird said...

Well done on the B Goose Warren, a nice one to get!

Great photos again, a Stonechat or two here would be lovely ;)

Anonymous said...

Well done, Warren.
I`ll second what Stewart says. Good luck.

Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

Hi Warren, I dont want to 'piss on your chips' but I would question the Barnacle Gooses' origin. Barnies in Kent tend to be from an escaped population, there is a small flock of them at Scotney GP's.
Keep up the great work,

Lancs and Lakes Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

To wet to conect with the wild barnies up our way today - but they all count!!!!people will be tellin yer you cant tick pheasants soon. RNP nice one bonnie birds we don't see often enough up here.

Records are for breaking - go Warren!


Fraser Simpson said...

Well done on your new record Warren!

Adam said...

Congratulations Warren, well-deserved. Wonder what the final tally will be??!!


Simon said...

Well done with the Barnacle Goose!!