Saturday, 27 October 2012

Much better conditions prevailed for this mornings full patch walk, but with the brighter conditions came a biting N wind, which by 11 o'clock brought frequent squally showers.

The first 90 mins of my walk was pretty hard going, an early visit to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods via the Small Holding and Wet woods brought me just 22 species, the highlight being the COOT that remains on the water, and a CORMORANT that dropped in whilst I was there. A troop of LONG TAILED TITS, with a couple of TREECREEPERS tagging along, had me fumbling for my camera, but I missed the opportunity, and there was me thinking that the 3 REDWINGS that were the first species on my list this morning were the sign of good things to come!
A drier part of the Wet Woods
Once out of the woods and into the fields of the Tree Nursery and Pub Field, a few more species showed themselves, 8 MEADOW PIPIT were at the Tree Nursery, plus two GREEN WOODPECKERS, both HERRING GULL and COMMON GULL flew over, as did a LESSER REDPOLL, the Pub Field had a few more Meadow Pipits on it, their calls were lost in the strong wind, but a SISKIN was heard above the cold roar.
The 'Pub Field' The hedgerow on the right divides this field from the Tree Nursery. Immediately on the right is a large garden, which is home to two huge dogs which bark continuously as I walk past, so its not quite as tranquil as the photo might suggest!

The walk across the sheep pasture and paddocks at Migrant alley had me pulling up my collar, and zipping up my coat against the biting N wind, the ROOKS and JACKDAWS there crouched down facing into the wind, trying to limit the numbing effect it had. I reached the College Grounds and was glad to be in some shelter, but little was seen, SONGTHRUSH, MISTLE THRUSH, CHAFFINCH, GOLDFINCH, plus a drumming GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, and the 150 or so BLACK HEADED GULLS on the sports pitch were about it really.
A few of the Black Headed Gulls on the College Sports Pitch
With just 35 species on my list, I headed over to the Greenhouse Grounds, then on to the Tree Nursery again, which proved to be a good move, for as I neared the Greenhouse Grounds the call of a GOLDEN PLOVER (72) rang out, I didn't see it, but it was up in the blue sky somewhere, a good October record, just the second in eleven years.

A flock of 34 FIELDFARE flew over as I entered the Tree Nursery, this was just a taster of things to come though, I stood pushed up against a bush for an hour, sheltered from the wind and in the sunshine, where I witnessed a full on bit of Migration, I saw/heard more singles of Lesser Redpoll and Siskin go over, plus REED BUNTING, LINNET, YELLOWHAMMER,SKYLARK, STOCK DOVE, 3 lots of LAPWING, ( 2, 4, and 23) and multiple flocks of FIELDFARE and REDWING, around 150 of the former and 100 of the latter all headed west. However most surprising, for my patch, was the sighting of 4 SHOVELER DUCK (73), the first ever record for an October day, I picked them out whilst watching the pair of KESTRELS that were hunting above me  :-)  The most impressive spectacle though was watching flock after flock of WOODPIGEONS, they were heading south, many thousands must have passed over whilst I was there. That little lot brought the days species count to 46, with some real good species amongst them, so those early Redwing sightings were a good omen after all  :-)
Later in the afternoon I spent some time in my photography hide (garden shed!) where I got some better COAL TIT and MARSH TIT photo's, two species that didn't get recorded on the morning walk, I also had GREENFINCH, and SPARROWHAWK come in, two more that weren't recorded this morning - making it a 50 species day  ;-)  I'll post the photo's from this afternoon tomorrow and over the following days.


Anonymous said...

Those trees look pretty mature Warren. Well done with the Goldie & Shoveler.

ShySongbird said...

It sounds like there was quite a lot to keep you occupied on your patch walk today Warren. Well done with 72 & 73!

No rain here but the wind was bitter! Great Lapwing photo.

Birderwolf said...

It was certainly a bitig wind today, with much more going on in your neck of the woods

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Sounds like a fair reward for a good day's birding there Warren.



Alan Pavey said...

Some good birds there Warren, and the Lapwing is a nice capture.