It was a real struggle to record many species at all as I walked a circuit of Migrant Alley and checked the Greenhouse Grounds, where only one KESTREL sat on the raspberry support poles. The Wooded Headland at Migrant Alley had a troop of LONG TAILED TITS flitting through it, while the the sheep pasture and paddocks had just ROOKS, JACKDAWS and STARLINGS feeding on them. Overhead just 2 MEADOW PIPIT were heard above the roar of the wind, and a CHIFFCHAFF gave a bit of song from an adjacent large Garden. A quick check of the Ashes Lane Field was had, in case the stonechat had stayed for a third day, but alas, it had moved on :-(
I visited the lakes and Scrubby Woods, hoping mainly that a new duck species for the year was visiting the water, but nothing much at all was seen, just 2 MALLARDS and 8 MOORHEN. The adjacent Scrubby Woods had two more Chiffchaff calling, but hearing much else above the wind was a real problem.
I decided that the wind might be beneficial to me, and as I wasn't finding much on the ground, I decided to spend the rest of the morning over on my seat at Migrant Alley sky watching. My decision was rewarded, when almost immediately I picked up flocks of REDWING flying over, many hundreds, in small groups, passed through. It was interesting to see that many were taking the same route south across country that the Swallows and House Martins had taken earlier this month. I also noted a GREY HERON, 2 CORMORANT and my first LAPWING (61) of the month fly over, a lone SWALLOW also flew through, and more exciting, for my patch at least, was a SNIPE (62) one twice alighted briefly on the sheep pasture, before flying off to the NW, this is the third month in a row I recorded Snipe over my patch, quite unusual for here. A BUZZARD and a SPARROWHAWK rounded off my 2 hour chilly skywatching session, by then a hot beverage was beckoning me home :-)
The Lapwing and Snipe take the months list up to 62 now, that's still only the 7th best October tally out of the 12 Octobers recorded thus far, and still 15 behind the best October of 2010, lots of visits for the month left though, just hope the dry weather holds out!
I was disappointed, but not surprised to see that the Pub Field Hedgerow had been thrashed to bits, here's the before and after shot :-(
|This is the hedge 16 days ago, full of berries and a nice grassy margin|
|After the ''custodians of the countryside'' ''managed'' it. No berries or grass !|
|Blue Tit - Not much else visiting my feeders at the moment|
|8-10 visit, at any one time, but many more come through during the day|
|They are joined by Goldfinch and Chaffinch, i'll post photo's of those tomorrow|
|The light today was almost too fierce at times!|