I left home this afternoon for my usual patch visit, which is now down to just 90 mins as the light diminishes earlier and earlier, with the idea of finding a patch year tick, and so giving me the best yearly tally for the 9 years of record keeping on my patch, it would also boost the November tally, so equalling the best ever November total...............
Things rapidly went down hill from there :-) . In the chilly NW breeze and overcast sky, birds were at a premium, I walked from my house, along the lane, through the Small Holding and Wet Woods, finding along the way a JAY and a MAGPIE - that was it!!!!!
Where have all the birds gone ? I reached the lake, and scanning the water found just one pair of MALLARD, this was truly an abysmal state of affairs, never in the 9 years have I known it as quiet as this! I sat down and waited, watched and listened, a GOLDCREST was finally heard to call, and 15 JACKDAWS went over headed North, a MOORHEN showed itself as it quickly swam across the lake, but that was it.
I'd had enough, I wasn't even going to get something new for the week let alone the year. I headed off over to the Greenhouse Complex to check the Raspberries, and found - nothing, not a thing was interested in them, must be all the sprays that were put on them! I checked the boundary hedge and found just ROBINS, BLACKBIRDS, DUNNOCKS a WREN and two GOLDFINCH, no sign of the overwintering Chiffchaff today.
With the wind dipping its icy fingers down the back off my neck, I realised i'd be better of watching the garden feeders for the last 45 mins of light that remained, but even here things were a little quiet, best birds were the COAL TIT, and pair of NUTHATCH. Things must get better than this for the weekend!