Out again on my patch this afternoon for the penultimate patch visit of November, and just one more new species for the month and I will have equalled the best November total which was achieved back in 2008.
It was a quite a bit warmer than yesterday, the frost was coming out of the ground, making for a muddy walk over to the lakes, on the way I received a text, - 5 Waxwings seen not far from Hadlow, and heading my way! With this in mind I scanned every bird I saw, but alas no Waxwings for me :-(
There were lots of other birds about though, enjoying the warmth of the weak sunshine, a party of LONG TAILED TITS were in the Wet Woods, as were two NUTHATCH and a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 6 SISKIN fed in an Alder and a TREECREEPER was heard, but went unseen.
Over at the lakes the water was still frozen after the recent frosts, and a GREY HERON stood on the ice, waiting patiently for it to thaw :-) One or two MOORHEN were around the fringes but no ducks were seen. I took a stroll round the Scrub area, seeing DUNNOCK, ROBIN, BLACKBIRD, REDWING and plenty of BLUE and GREAT TITS as well as the MARSH TIT and a singing COAL TIT, the next bird I saw was a real bonus for my patch - a WOODCOCK (67) it flew up from cover and dropped back down again a little further on. This is a real scarce bird on my patch, not recorded until Jan. 2009, but has now been seen in Jan this year, as well as this last sighting, it seems to take very cold weather to get them to visit me. The record November total has now been equalled!
I had time to visit the Pub Field before dusk fell, and was pleased to find 10 LAPWING on the Maize stubbles, but apart from those it was all quiet, until a PEREGRINE came across, chasing a WOODPIGEON, which escaped by inches after dropping down and weaving amongst the busy traffic on the nearby A26, clever bird ! Thats only the second record of the Peregrine on my patch this month.
A KESTREL was up hunting around its preferred haunt, the Greenhouse Complex, as I walked home, but that was it for today. Just one more visit for November - and one more new species needed for both the best November tally and the best yearly tally - a Waxwing would just do nicely...........
Above: The patient Grey heron
Below the Peregrine over the Pub Field