Thursday, 31 October 2013

Moderate to heavy rain fell all morning, thwarting my efforts to find those two new bird species needed to set a new October record. I did try though, I visited the Lakes early on and found some visitors that would be welcome on next months list, especially the MUTE SWANS, they may well stay on, as may the KINGFISHER which has been here throughout October. A CORMORANT was fishing and as I watched it, 5 MANDARIN DUCK dropped in, 2 males with 3 females, a good record here in any month. Apart from that it was down to MALLARDS and MOORHENS, the former of which were present in larger numbers than recent visits, 28 were seen across the 3 lakes.

I was pretty wet by now, and took shelter under a nearby out building, where I heard BULLFINCH calling, and watched a few REDWING drop down into the Scrubby Woods, but I didn't stay much longer and made a soggy trudge home.

Early this afternoon the rain ceased, and I went over to my sky watching seat at Migrant Alley for a last ditch attempt at finding something new for the month. I looked through 30-40 BLACK HEADED GULLS that were on the sheep pasture, but thats all they were, a BUZZARD flew low over and put them all up, and 2 LESSER REDPOLLS flew over, lots of GOLDFINCH were moving around, and behind me in the Greenhouse Grounds, BLACKBIRDS, DUNNOCKS, ROBINS, WRENS, BLUE and GREAT TITS plus a GOLDCREST were all busy, but alas I failed in my attempt to get any more new species for October.

October ended on 76 species though, a brilliant total for the month and the second best of the 12 Octobers recorded. Two of those species were new to any October - the Curlew and the Mediterranean Gull, bringing the 12 year combined October list to 97, the second highest, behind April.

There were some nice patch species seen during the month, some of them a little fortuitous, just me being in the right place at the right time, Little Egret, Golden Plover, Snipe and Ring necked Parakeet were all seen, as well as the already mentioned Curlew and Mediterranean Gull, the Ring Ouzel was just a fantastic find  :-) A Stonechat was a real bonus and the Reed Bunting was just the second this year, the only species that could reasonably be expected to turn up but didn't, was a Wheatear, they have visited me in 6 of the past 11 Octobers.

A new month and a new challenge beckons!

photo's today are of the STARLINGS at my garden feeders, taken yesterday, good old garden feeders!
Starling
Starling
Starling
Starling
Starling
Starling

4 comments:

Alan Pavey said...

A wildfowl bonanza Mate :-)

Warren Baker said...

Hi Alan,
If only all months were as good as this one has been!

David Gascoigne said...

Starlings are surely among the most under-rated birds. Great pictures showing its stunning beauty.

Warren Baker said...

Thanks David,
I think all birds have their merits when sitting in some nice lighting :-)