This afternoon my visit to the lakes and scrubby woods was overshadowed by 3 more Sprawks, 2 being female, the male with them may have been the one I saw early this morning. They circled over the woods and made several dashes into the canopy, flushing out numerous BLACKBIRDS, THRUSHES, WOODPIGEONS and 3 FIELDFARES, whilst the ROBINS, DUNNOCKS and Tits were heard giving their alarm calls as the dived deeper into cover. Needless to say, I wasn't going to find anything here today, and with only 3 MALLARD and 5 MOORHEN seen on the water, I made my way over to the Tree Nursery, where blow me down overhead was a big female Sprawk, not one of the two seen over the Scrubby woods, this was a much bigger one! Once again I had to move on, so the Greenhouse Complex was my next visit, I walked the boundary hedgerow, and all was very quiet, I then saw the reason why fly from a fence post, a KESTREL, this flew up and gave it's alarm call, ki ki ki , the reason for that was the BUZZARD that was going over low and slow!!
Well, it wasn't my day, with all those raptors about, I was on a looser, the light was going fast having lost an hour in the evening now the clocks have gone back, so I decided to go home and watch the garden feeders for 40 mins, maybe something will turn up there to salvage the day, how wrong I was, just ten minutes into watching the garden this little bugger (below) comes in and took a GREENFINCH, I gave up on the bird watching after that!!!!!!
|Yet another Sprawk, this time he got his finch meal - a poor old Greenfinch|
|I'm getting fewer and fewer Greenfinch's in the garden now, however it's NOT the Sprawk thats at the heart of the problem, thats down to the surrounding poor habitat that the farmers and land owners keep degrading :-(|
October went out with a whimper in the end, but for the majority of it, especially early on, there was some good birding to be had, the Whinchat on the 4th was only the second recorded in October, and all those passage Wheatears were a brilliant sight, with the 8 seen together on the 6th being a peak count for my patch. Early Brambling, a Coot, and a couple of Reed Bunting sightings, as well as the arrival of the Redwing and Fieldfares all made for an exciting period, while the two patch ticks, Crossbill and Great Skua, put the cherry and icing on the cake! :-) The total species recorded this month ended on 69, the second best October for the ten years, 8 species behind the best October tally though. The ten year combined species total for October, now stands at 93, with the addition of the Crossbill and Skua.