Another rubbish weather forecast had me expecting horrendous conditions this morning, so I left my camera indoors, not wanting to expose it to the heavy rain.
However, once out, I discovered it was a lovely morning, with a strong mild breeze but little else to cause concern, I think the met. office need some new seaweed :-)
I set out today to get the 3 new species needed to bring up the 50 mark for October, one turned up within the first half hour when 4 GREYLAG GEESE (48) flew over the Pub Field Maize stubbles, where WOODPIGEONS, MEADOW PIPITS, a PHEASANT and a flock of ROOKS were already feeding.
Migrant Alley turned up the next new species, another goose in the form of CANADA GOOSE (49), a pair flew over towards the Lakes area. The next hour turned up the usual crowd of species, seen at the College Grounds, the most noteworthy of these were a pair of GOLDCREST. On my way back over Migrant Alley, the strong warm wind was blowing from the SE, normally a good direction for my patch so I hung around for half an hour. Sure enough small groups of both SWALLOW and HOUSE MARTIN started coming through. Some stopped of to feed over the sheep pasture before moving on again, and it was in amongst these that the 50th species for the month was seen - a SAND MARTIN (50) , this is a late one on my patch, just the second October record, the last was in 2008.
Whilst watching the sky, I saw Meadow Pipits were dropping into the pasture, having a rest, then moving on again, just as the hirundines had done, it was impossible to count them, but I reckon 70-100 went through whilst I was there.
The visit to the lakeside scrub was worth the effort this morning, as a male BLACKCAP (51) was seen, as well as a COMMON BUZZARD (52) that went low over the main lake, flushing up a GREY HERON (53) as it did so.
In the end it was a pleasant and productive walk, a total of 41 species is a little below the October average, but the six new month ticks was reward enough. It will be difficult from now on though, there are no more easy species left to find, apart from maybe the Kestrel, but i should get Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher and Lesser Black backed Gull, however that still leaves me 12 short to beat the October record !