At first light I visited the Tree Nursery, where I took a photo of the sunrise,
then just as I was about to set of into the shrubs, a pair of MUTE SWAN (66) flew over, another scarce bird for my patch, and a good addition to the October list.
As I set off into the shrubs and young trees, birds started flying out straight away, there had obviously been a 'fall' of SONGTHRUSH'S, BLACKBIRDS, ROBINS and to my surprise and delight a WHINCHAT (67) !! This is easily the latest record of this species to date, the previous latest date was 28th Sept back in 2008.
There were so many birds coming out of the shrubs, that I was like a kid in a sweet shop, first pointing my camera, then my bins, then trying to note things down, I'm sure I missed a few things ! In the end I reluctantly carried on with my walk, finding a singing CHIFFCHAFF in the hedgerow at the Pub Field as I went.
I entered Migrant Alley, and again saw many Blackbirds and Songthrushes flying over, and one group of 5 Blackbirds had what looked like the Ring Ouzel in with them, but views were brief and I could have been mistaken. One thing I didn't mistake was seeing my first REDWING (68) of the Autumn sitting up in a mature Oak in one of the large gardens nearby, I have now equalled the highest October species count :-) Looking at my records for the arrival date of Redwing, shows them to be here one day later than the mean arrival date.
I spent ages looking around Migrant Alley and the boundary hedgerow with the greenhouses, as there were a lot of birds about, notables include: a WHEATEAR on one of the paddocks, a flyover LAPWING, 3 flyover SWALLOWS, 4 flyover MISTLE THRUSH, two BULLFINCH and a YELLOWHAMMER were in the boundary hedge, with best of all a REED BUNTING (69), only the 4th one recorded this year, and takes the October list to a new record !
I had spent so much time in the Tree Nursery and Migrant alley, that it was pointless visiting the College Grounds, as it would be full of people at this time of day. So I moved on to the Lakes and Scrub area via the Wet Woods and small holding. I found virtually all that could be expected of the woodland species, NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, MARSH TIT, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, GOLDCREST, and both GREEN and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were the pick of the birds, but another big surprise was waiting on the main lake today, 3 POCHARD (105, 70) a Year tick, and another enhancement to the now bulging October list! This is only the 3 record of Pochard for my patch, what an exciting find! Any regular followers of my blog know that ANY duck is exciting on my patch ( bar Mallard)
Another afternoon visit was had today, mainly for some skywatching, and this proved successful with, COMMON BUZZARD, KESTREL, and SPARROWHAWK seen, as well as 6 more flyover Lapwing, and yes, yet another October tick, with a flyover COMMON GULL (71) !!!