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|
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|
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 :-)