My usual early trip around the Greenhouses and Migrant Alley produced much the same as the last few visits, but MEADOW PIPITS and SKYLARK are getting fewer by the day, just half a dozen of each were seen on or over the sheep pasture. A procession of both BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS headed SW and a CORMORANT flew over towards the Lakes.
A KESTREL had returned to the Greenhouse Grounds, as had a GREY WAGTAIL which was seen at the favoured water intake area. A LITTLE OWL was seen in the old shack at the Ashes Lane Field as I walked over to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods.
It was at the lakes that the morning got a bit more interesting for me, I saw what was presumably the same Cormorant I watched fly over earlier, sitting at the top of a Silver Birch, and a GREY HERON fished from the shallower edges of the Main lake, it was while looking at that, I noticed movement under the overhanging trees, then 8 MANDARIN DUCKS (69) swam out, 4 pairs, the first i've seen here since July :-) Pleased with that October addition, I then walked round to view the other two smaller lakes, finding a few MOORHEN and MALLARD as well as the almost daily sighting of the KINGFISHER, but it was whilst walking back to the main lake that I found another new species for the months list - a COOT (70) where did that appear from? :-)
I tried to get a photo of the Mandarins, I crouched down and waited for them to swim my way, which they did, a female came by close, but as I pressed the shutter half way the Mandarin heard the image stabilizer on the lens kick in and they flew off, blast it! The Coot did give a photo though, if distant, as did the Cormorant :-) It was interesting to hear a TREECREEPER singing and a SISKIN flying over, as well as a COAL TIT calling during the short time I staked out the Mandarin Ducks.
Not much else to excite today, the only summer birds left were the two CHIFFCHAFF heard in the Scrubby Woods, where an increase in GOLDCREST was noted, LONG TAILED TIT, BULLFINCH, JAY and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER were also seen there. On the way home I saw a COMMON BUZZARD flying low over the Wet Woods.
The two new species for the month added this morning, take the months list to 70, and now moves this October into 3rd place out of the 12 recorded :-)
Just a couple of photo's for today ;
|Coot - The 70th species of the month :-)|