The rain moved in just as I left work today, and a brisk SW wind was blowing, making it an uncomfortable afternoon visit to my patch. There were plenty of birds about though, and as I walked through the Small Holding, a varied feeding flock of passerines moved through from the adjacent large gardens. I counted at least 6 GREAT TIT, 8 BLUE TIT, a MARSH TIT, a TREECREEPER, two SISKIN, two GOLDCREST and a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER. Further along two GREEN WOODPECKERS were feeding on a large lawn.
All was quiet and still in the Wet Woods, I'm hoping yet to find a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in here for the year list, although time is running out now. The footpath leading from the Wet Woods to the lake area had more Blue and Great Tits, plus another two Goldcrest, but by now the rain had increased in intensity, making it difficult to see much. I reached the main lake via the most wooded bank, and through the trees I caught glimpses of a duck with lots of white on it, my pulse quickened, as this was not going to be a Mallard ! I looked through my bins a saw not one, but two female GOOSANDER (59), an excellent record for November! In fact this is the only November record of Goosander I have for my patch, they are a very scarce visitor here, just a few sightings over the winter months are all I am treated to, in the years 2004, 05 and 06 none were recorded at all. The combined November tally for the nine years has now reached 80.
I couldn't get to the smaller lake without flushing the Goosanders, so I didn't check it this afternoon - no doubt there was a Tufted Duck on that one :-). Most of the next half hour was spent under the cover of an out building that affords a view across the main lake, where 8 MALLARDS 6 MOORHEN and a little later a GREY HERON were seen. A pair of BULLFINCH, and yet another two Goldcrests were seen in the bankside vegetation, and flyovers from SISKIN and REDPOLL made for an excellent, if a bit wet, visit today.