The four hours I was out turned out to be a pretty average visit, with 43 bird species being found, which is ok for an October day. The spectacle of migrating hirundines, seen on the previous 3 patch visits, had all but ended today, with no House Martins and just 2 SWALLOWS seen going over the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley. Half a dozen MEADOW PIPITS also went over, as did the odd SKYLARK, there were six more Skylark seen on the stubbles at the Pub Field.
Small numbers of HERRING GULLS flew south, as did 5 BLACK HEADED GULLS, and it was whilst looking at the latter through my binoculars that I picked out my first CORMORANT (53) for October going past :-) This may have been the same bird that I saw on the Main Lake later in the visit, it had joined a GREY HERON for a fish breakfast, a KINGFISHER that was on the adjacent Ornamental Lake was no doubt hoping for the same :-) The 7 MALLARD and 9 MOORHEN also seen there, made for a better mix of species than normal on the water this morning :-)
Not all the woodland species turned out today, a walk through the Scrubby Woods and the Wet Woods didn't produce Long Tailed Tit, Coal Tit or Treecreeper, but NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER and BULLFINCH did show up.
A LITTLE OWL called from the Small Holding, and another was seen on a fence post just off High House Lane, a place where it is seen more often than not, other Raptors included a very vocal BUZZARD, the KESTREL pair at the Greenhouse Grounds, and of course a hunting SPARROWHAWK :-)
Just two CHIFFCHAFFS were located during the visit, plus one was seen in my garden this afternoon, it wont be too long now before even they make their way south for the winter.
The dull and dark conditions proved hopeless for any photo's this morning, and even this afternoon the light was pretty rubbish, I did try to get some garden bird photo's, especially of the Goldcrest that visited, but the only image i kept was of this WOODPIGEON !