I was out on my patch by 2 o'clock today, trying to fit in some birding before the dusk fell, which it is doing earlier by the day and will continue do so for the next month, before we resume the steady crawl towards longer days :-)
I visited the Lakes again, in the hope of finding a different duck species, there wasn't one today, but a GREY HERON flew off as I arrived, nice to see that here anyway, the only other birds on the lakes were 4 MALLARD and 5 MOORHEN,. I did come away with something today though, my first KINGFISHER (65) for November, it flew from it's perch as I approached the smallest of the 3 lakes :-)
I had a quick look around the Scrubby Woods, hoping to find a Woodcock, which wasn't forth coming, in fact it was eerily quiet in there today, the only birds that were active were a couple of GREEN WOODPECKERS that chased around a large Oak tree. SISKINS were heard passing overhead, and as I stood and listened I could here the 'chirriping' of LONG TAILED TITS, I tracked them down to the far end of the main lake, where I had no access, then all of a sudden the ''chirriping'' turned to blind panic and alarm calls! Of course, the SPARROWHAWK had tracked the birds down too, I watched it fly through the dense trees three times hoping to catch a Long Tailed Tit, but it failed each time.
Already the sun ( which wasn't out by the way!) was getting ever nearer the horizon, so I moved off to look around the Tree Nursery and Pub Field, the former had another Green Woodpecker, but little else of note, even the Meadow Pipits had moved, maybe they had already had a visit from the Sprawk!! On the Pub field the now regular BLACK HEADED GULL flock was winging up and down the seedling grass, picking up morsels of food now and then, a quick scan of them all, to maybe to find a Common or Mediterranean gull was not successful, but I did see 2 LAPWING feeding out there. A KESTREL, and one each of MEADOW PIPIT and SKYLARK were also noted.
The last dregs of light were spent checking the wheat grain I had put out over at Migrant Alley, but not a bird was seen around the tall hedge where I sprinkled it all, again, I blame the Sprawks!!! :-)
The kingfisher sighting takes the November list to within 1 species of equaling the second best November total, and 3 behind the record November total. With just 2 morning visits left for the month, and 7 shorter afternoon visits, There is a chance of setting a new record, with species like Common Gull, Snipe, Mute Swan, or maybe a Coot or duck species at the lake all possible, although they are all scarce birds here at any time of year - we shall see!