It was cloudy and dull, but still quite warm, and there was not a breath of wind to be had this morning, nice conditions for my 100th full patch walk this year.
The first bird on the list was a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, calling from a small Oak opposite my house, and as I walked down Ashes Lane ROBIN, WOODPIGEON, CARRION CROW, HOUSE SPARROW, BLACKBIRD, BLUE TIT, and STARLING all joined it. I got into the tree nursery, and it was straight away evident that there were more Thrushes around than at anytime this month, 6 SONGTHRUSHES flew from the sapling trees and shrubs, they all went into a large oak, where a party of LONG TAIILED TITS were already feeding, a flock of 40 FIELDFARE flew over, headed west, as did a flock of 24 REDWING a few minutes later. Two male PHEASANTS flew up in front of me - scaring me to death, that woke me up! CHAFFINCH, WREN, MAGPIE, DUNNOCK and GREAT TIT were also found in the nursery, and as I walked the hedgerow towards Migrant Alley 4 BLACK HEADED GULLS flew over, and a KESTREL flew from a cherry tree, that is in one of the larger gardens.
Migrant Alley was quiet, as is the norm at this time of year, a few SKYLARKS were about, four LINNETS fed on weeds along the fenceline, and a couple of MEADOW PIPITS flew from the longer grass. JACKDAWS and ROOKS had started to gather on the horse paddocks, and looking skywards a HERRING GULL slowly flew across the slate grey sky, which in turn drew my attention to a large flock of woodpigeons - a 100 or so all headed SW, more flocks went over throughout the next two hours.
I headed for the Stream that runs adjacent to the College grounds, and found a flock of GOLDFINCH feeding in the ever reliable Alders there, with them were three SISKIN. I crossed the stream and walked through the college grounds, adding COLLARED DOVE, JAY, MISTLE THRUSH, GOLDCREST, MOORHEN, and a flyover GREY WAGTAIL, always nice to get one of those on the list! I then headed back to Migrant Alley via the sports pitch, and saw the first GREEN WOODPECKER of the morning - a bit late today! My second walk through Migrant Alley only added YELLOWHAMMER, PIED WAGTAIL, and a REED BUNTING that was in the tall hedge - a scarce species for my patch. The persistent SPARROWHAWK was of course seen overhead. :-)
After my usual halfway snack and drink, I headed off for the second half of my patch visit, through the small holding, wet woods and onto the Lake and scrub area. The pear trees in the small holding attracted a feeding flock of Tits and finch's, as well as a TREECREEPER, the COAL TITS amongst them were particularly vocal today. The wet woods was empty of birds, it really needs some heavy rain here to pep the habitat up a bit, as I left the woods a MARSH TIT was calling from one of the large wooded gardens, good to find it again, it tracked me down to the lake area, calling all the while, and went over to the feeders, at the nearby house.
On the lake it was a dismall affiar, just 2 MALLARDS and a few MOORHENS, this is another area that could do with some rain in it! A check around the scrub, produced just BULLFINCH and GREENFINCH for the day list, but on the homeward trek two geese flew over, one of CANADA and one of GREYLAG, a few minutes later 75 Canada's flew over! The last bird on the list was a bit of a surprise, a RING NECKED PARAKEET that flew over the tree nursery, the second one recorded this month, but only the third of the year.
48 Species were seen this morning, good for an October day, but I still didn't get the one new species needed to beat the months record - maybe tomorrow ?
The light was terrible for photography, these Goldcrest shots are the best I could slavage.