Much of this afternoons walk was carried out in a snowstorm, however, it was wet snow and didn't settle on the ground, and it actually felt a bit warmer than the last few days.
I walked over to the Lakes again, as usual passing through the Small Holding and Wet Woods, the sprinkling of snow from the previous night was thawing quickly, and everything was dripping, so I was getting doubly wet!
Unsurprising in these conditions I saw not a single bird until I reached the lakes and scrub area, where the feeders in a nearby garden were attracting plenty of CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH as well as BLUE TIT and GREAT TIT. As I watched, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, COAL TIT and MARSH TIT came and went. I finally had to take some shelter from the now very heavy snow shower, and whilst under a large oak tree I could hear NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER and GOLDCRESTS calling, I also watched a flock of mixed LESSER REDPOLL and SISKIN wheel in to a silver birch tree, some 20 birds were involved. After ten minutes I thought about calling it a day, but then a real bonus came along - a flyover CURLEW (68) , what a fantastic bird, I picked it up calling at first, but then got onto it as it flew SW, this is only the second Curlew record for my patch, the other was recorded in the September just gone, a new November species record is set !
I made my way over to Migrant Alley and the sheep pasture, hoping to find my first Golden plover for the year, but although there were around 40 LAPWING, out on the grass, and also two decent size flocks flying over, both with over 60 birds in them, the Golden Plover wasn't going to show up. Scanning the Pasture I also found 44 SKYLARK, the largest flock here for years, also 5 STARLINGS and 7 MEADOW PIPITS were seen before it got too dark to see.
So the Curlew makes this November the best ever in terms of species recorded, (68) 5 of those species have not been recorded in any November before, the Curlew obviously, but also Firecrest, Woodcock, Goosander and the patch tick Wigeon. The combined November total for the 9 years is now 83, and the mean number of species seen for November is 58.3.
Bring on December!