Tuesday, 29 October 2013

There were clear skies and a light westerly wind for much of this mornings 4 hour patch walk, a real joy to be out in some fine weather at last  :-)

I headed off over to the lakes first thing, I think it will be here that I stand most chance of finding something new for the months list, and although at least 4 MANDARIN DUCKS had returned to the main lake and the KINGFISHER was again seen on the Ornamental Lake, both good birds to get, I didn't find anything new for the October list. Whilst I was scanning the water I heard SISKIN, LESSSER REDPOLL, MEADOW PIPIT and SKYLARK fly over, all good October birds here. A CORMORANT dropped into the Main lake as I was leaving, joining the 10 MALLARDS that were dabbling around there.

I had a look through the Scrubby Woods for a possible Marsh Tit or early Woodcock, maybe even a Firecrest, but none of the mentioned birds were found, not surprising though, they are all very seldom recorded on my patch. I did find a few BULLFINCH though, the males looking fantastic in the morning sunshine, too far away for a photo though! GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, JAY, and a gathering of 3 noisy MISTLE THRUHES were also found here.

Not too much activity was seen was seen at the Pub Field, Ashes Lane Field or Migrant Alley, a couple of GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS flew over, as did a couple of GREEN WOODPECKERS, all on the move to find food I suspect, a few more Skylark and Meadow Pipits also went over.

When I reached the Greenhouse Grounds I was surprised to see at least 60 GOLDFINCH fly up from the line of Alder trees there, the largest flock I have seen on my patch - away from my garden feeders!
 I also saw this Red Admiral Butterfly at the Greenhouse Grounds, not the best shot with my 500mm lens!
Tatty Red Admiral
I finished the walk off with a sky watch from my seat at Migrant Alley, but I didn't find any new species to add to the October list - so I still remain 2 short of beating the record total. HERRING and BLACK HEADED GULLS featured most during my vigil, where it was good to see 3 raptor species up hunting, those being KESTREL, SPARROWHAWK and BUZZARD, the latter was snapped as it went over being pursued by a ROOK. Several large flocks of WOODPIGEON were watched as they flew over high, heading south.
Rook and Buzzard
Here's a couple of Goldfinch shots from my garden feeders I took yesterday

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