Early on in the walk, in near darkness the above Fox was seen hunting in the Small Holding, I had not too much hope of a decent photo, but by ratcheting up the ISO to 3200 on the camera I was surprised at just how bright the image is, shame I chopped a bit of its tail off!
As I was photographing the fox, a flock of 60+ FIELDFARE dropped in to the tallest trees around the Small Holding, stopping briefly before moving on again. I also moved on, to the Lake area, where 24 MALLARD and 5 MOORHEN were the only residents today, whilst in the Scrubby Woods the strong wind made it difficult to hear much, except a singing MISTLE THRUSH, and a singing SONGTHRUSH, a BULLFINCH was glimpsed, and a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER called from the top of a fir tree, but that was about it for the area, a very poor visit indeed, with so few birds about.
The second half of my walk over to the College Grounds, via the Tree Nursery, Pub Field, and Migrant Alley was a pretty grim affair birdwise, despite the brightening conditions, just 10 more species were added to the daylist, making for one of the poorest November tallies ever, just 35 species! The best of those were the BUZZARD that flew low over, plus the 6 CORMORANT that also flew over, and apart from a couple of SISKIN seen in the College Grounds, nothing more noteworthy was seen. There were many regular and common species that weren't seen, the most alarming was the House Sparrow, today was the first full patch walk in the whole of the ten years of recording that not one was seen, that's just under 1,200 full patch walks!
I was feeling pretty despondent with the mornings efforts, and so had another visit this afternoon, little had changed, but I was very pleased to see a flock of LAPWING wheeling over the Pub Field, I estimated around 150 birds in all, I made my way over and found the Lapwings were on the seedling grass, feeding, so I made a count and got 141, but probably missed one or two in the dips of the field :-)
I made my way back through the Tree Nursery, then on through the Greenhouse Grounds, where the day took a big turn for the better when I flushed up my first RED LEGGED PARTRIDGE (108, 66) of the year ! In fact it was the first one since February 2009, not the most exciting of species, but it made my day :-) On the way back home I watched the LINNETS coming into roost, but these only took the day list to 38, still at least 7 species down from an average November walk.
The year list now moves on to 108, which is the 3rd best year out of the ten so far, whilst the months list moves onto 66 which is now the joint second best November with 2008, I wonder if I can find just two more species in the three short afternoon visit left this month, that would equal the record November tally :-)
Photo's were hard to come by today, but it was indicative of the topsy turvey weather this year, when this Bumble Bee was seen on the last remaining flower on my Buddleia this afternoon, I also had a Red Admiral Butterfly go through a little later.
|Bee On Buddleia|
|Bee On Buddleia|
|Red Legged Partridge|