I visited the Lakes first thing, hoping for a visiting duck species, but not even a Mallard was found on the 3 water bodies, just a scattering of MOORHENS were seen. The adjacent Scrubby Woods were mostly quiet, but BULLFINCH, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER broke the silence with their calls. Just 25 species were noted from Lakes, Scrubby Woods, Small Holding and Wet Woods, maybe I was a bit early for the birds here today :-)
Things improved rapidly as I walked over to the Pub Field, with lots of flyover species being picked up, YELLOWHAMMER, SISKIN, LESSER REDPOLL, SPARROWHAWK, HERRING GULL and the first of 3 REDWING flocks seen, it contained at least 25 birds, the other two flocks had a minimum of 45 and 60 birds in them, all headed west.
On the Pub Field, the Sparrowhawk beat me to a mixed flock of PIED WAGTAILS and MEADOW PIPITS, flushing around 40-50 birds into the air, most of them Meadow Pipits, while a GREY HERON sat in the field and watched on :-)
Walking across Migrant Alley, singles of Redwing were seen going over, plus a CORMORANT, I was slightly surprised to see at least 7 SWALLOWS and a HOUSE MARTIN over the Sheep pasture, a late date for both species on my patch, the Swallow equals the last date recorded. Several times I heard SKYLARKS going over the paddocks, but only once did I pick out any, when 3 birds came over lower.
The College Grounds were well disturbed by the time I got to have a look round, but the likes of LINNET, MISTLE THRUSH, SONGTHRUSH, and GREEN WOODPECKER were found as well as the regular common species.
I then headed over to the Greenhouse Grounds, where a LITTLE OWL flew up and headed into the Greenhouse Copse, a KESTREL sat up on the apex of one of the Greenhouses, and a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL flew over. In the scrub and hedgerow, just the normal WRENS, DUNNOCKS, ROBINS, BLACKBIRDS, Songthrush, and a couple more Redwing were found, also a small flock of GOLDFINCH were feeding in some Alders.
My last stop was over at the Tree Nursery, this proved to be the best part of the visit, as the Autumns first REED BUNTING (66) was seen as it called loudly from a low bush, the first seen on a full patch walk since February 11th, even more exciting was the Autumns first BRAMBLING (67) this was watched as it circled over, finally dropping into the shrub cover, calling all the time as it went, a scarce bird on my patch, with never more than two being seen at any one time, and not always turning up every winter.
Not a bad visit today then, nice to see a mix of the last Summer species and the first Winter species on the same morning. The day list ended on 47, and was missing the likes of Mallard, Greenfinch, Coal Tit, and Nuthatch, the latter three were picked up at the garden feeders later, although don't get added to my ''full patch walk stats' . The Months list now moves on to 67, which puts it in fifth place out of eleven, still ten behind the best October total though, achieved back in 2010.
I left the camera at home today, as the light was so dire, but this afternoon I ventured into my garden shed to try and get a decent Coal tit Photo while it fed at the feeders, the light was still poor, but I got what I could :-) However, I was glad I made the effort, as I also got to see the 51st species of the day, when a MARSH TIT came in, the first since April last year, this is probably the bird I saw at the Scrubby woods earlier this month, it brings the years garden feeder list to 33, fantastic :-)
|Nuthatch, I cant resist a photo of these !|