Saturday, 30 November 2013

I managed a full patch walk for the last patch visit of November, the gloomy weather of recent days had lifted and there were some short sunny spells to be had during the 3 and a half hour walk.

I had hoped to add at least one new species to the November list, but in the end didn't even get anywhere near an average species tally for a Novembers day, an incredible low count of just 35 species were found this morning, with 10 of those being represented by just single birds, they were out of interest, COAL TIT, NUTHATCH, KINGFISHER, FIELDFARE, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, SONGTHRUSH, SKYLARK, MOORHEN, MEADOW PIPIT and PIED WAGTAIL - probably the worse full patch visit ever!

On the bright side the MUTE SWANS I saw fly in yesterday had indeed returned to the Ornamental Lake, that will be a good species to get on the December list  - if they stay  :-)  The best part of the visit was watching the increasing number of birds coming down to the seed I put out on the track at the Greenhouse Grounds, where at least 30 GOLDFINCH, 10 CHAFFINCH, 6 BLUE TIT 2 GREAT TIT, 4 SISKIN, a DUNNOCK, a ROBIN and a BLACKBIRD all fed, also a pair of BULLFINCH were seen nearby. Not even the Kestrels were about today!!

So after a bit of an anticlimax to the end of November, the month finished on 65 species, the 3rd best tally out of the twelve recorded, 65 species is bang on the average achieved for the previous five Novembers, so I cant complain there, but the overall numbers of birds has markedly decreased.

The combined 12 year November species total is now on 87 having been incremented by one with Mediterranean Gull, this is the third lowest, behind January and February, so that doesn't bode well for the new year! 

A poor post today, made worse by the fact i've run out of photo's to put up  :-(

Friday, 29 November 2013

It wasn't quite as gloomy and dull for the penultimate November patch visit this morning, just the more usual grey and overcast stuff  :-)

I managed a little over two hours out, finding a respectable tally of 40 species, but none of them new for the November list, looks like that Yellowhammer could well be missing from this that list, it would be only the second month ever not have been recorded, the other month was the September just gone, proof that this species is in real decline here now  :-(

I heard both MEADOW PIPIT and SKYLARK fly over Migrant Alley this morning, the first recorded here all week, and a pair of CORMORANTS that went over were the first here since the 14th. The LITTLE OWL was again seen on its territory at the old shack in the Ashes Lane Field, and the female KESTREL again hunted over the Pub Field.

Over on the lakes it was the KINGFISHER that drew most attention, but an increase in MALLARD numbers was noted, with 14 being spread over the three water bodies, MOORHEN was the only other species on the water.

In the adjacent Scrubby Woods, a pair of COAL TITS chased around a fir tree, at least 4 BULLFINCH were seen, and a NUTHATCH called, the MISTLETHRUSH and SONGTHRUSH were again singing, plus a couple of LESSER REDPOLL were heard flying over. A small flock of 7 FIELDFARE that flew over were proof that we are indeed approaching the first proper winter month, but there was no sign of the other winter thrush, the Redwing.

I ended the visit over at the Greenhouse Grounds, where the seed I had spread on the trackway had attracted BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, DUNNOCK, BLACKBIRD, ROBIN, CHAFFINCH and the small flock of GOLDFINCH, another 2 Bullfinch were also close by. A brief sky watch only produced HERRING GULLS and BLACK HEADED GULLS, along with a SPARROWHAWK that was being chased buy JACKDAWS, but just as I was leaving I saw a pair of MUTE SWANS fly over low, heading towards the lakes, must be the pair that left a couple of days ago, it will be interesting to see if they have indeed returned when I visit tomorrow  :-)

Ive almost come to the end of the photo's taken at my feeders last weekend, all there is left are these LONG TAILED TIT images, they turned up in the garden today, but I didn't see them on my walk!
Long Tailed Tit

Thursday, 28 November 2013

I snatched another couple of hours out for a patch visit mid morning, where once again it was very dull, damp and misty, but it was at least a bit milder than yesterday  :-)

Three GREEN WOODPECKERS were seen as I walked to the Lakes, one on the roof of the Greenhouses, which looked very out of place, and a couple in the Ashes lane Field. Over on the water today it was all very empty, just the KINGFISHER was of note, keeping company with 13 MALLARDS and 4 MOORHEN.

The adjacent Scrubby Woods was much livelier than yesterday, with song being heard from MISTLETHRUSH, SONGTHRUSH, WREN and ROBIN, plus sightings of BULLFINCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and a whole host of species that had joined a 13 strong LONG TAILED TIT flock, including BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, 2 COAL TIT, 3 GOLDCREST and a TREECREEPER, three Mistlethrushes also chased around nearby.

Making my way back to the Greenhouse Grounds I had good views of the LITTLE OWL that has a territory around the old shack in the Ashes Lane Field, the female KESTREL was seen hunting over the Pub Field again, but nothing else was on the old Maize stubbles there.

The Greenhouse Grounds were less disturbed than of late, the pile of old timber that had been slowly incinerated over the last week or so had finally gone, and consequently more birds were seen, only the usual stuff, BLACKBIRDS, DUNNOCKS, more Wrens, Robins and a couple of Songthrush, plus four PIED WAGTAILS, and another Long Tailed Tit flock, this one at least 12 strong. I checked the nearby stretch of track to the front of the Greenhouses where I had put down some seed at the weekend and was pleased to see that it was attracting quite few birds, mostly the small flock of a dozen GOLDFINCH, but there were also at least 5 CHAFFINCH, a few more Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Blue and Great Tits. Whilst I watched them feeding, at least 4 SISKIN flew over, but not the hoped Yellowhammer, I still need that for the November list. I've just 2 more November visits left now to try and find 4 more new species for the month if I am to set a new November species tally, at least on Saturday i'll get a full patch walk in, that might be my best chance  :-)

My Garden feeders were quiet for most of the day, once again the SPARROWHAWK is keeping everything away, but every now and then there is a flurry of activity as the Sprawk flies off to try its luck somewhere else, and in one of these short, Sprawk free interludes, a mass invasion of birds took advantage, with 3 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS, 2 COAL TITS, 2 NUTHATCH, at least 14 LONG TAILED TITS, a minimum of 10 BLUE TITS plus 4 GREAT TIT, 6 GOLDFINCH, 4 GREENFINCH a BLACKBIRD and a ROBIN all appearing from there hide aways, then just as quickly as they appeared they all vanished again! The Long Tailed Tits that visit are probably from both the flocks that are out on my patch, maybe their visits will coincide, it would be fantastic to see 20+ of them in my garden!

Photo's are from my garden again today, taken during last weekends sunshine  :-)

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

With the builders not arriving until 10:00hrs today, it gave me a chance to get for a few hours this morning.

The weather was absolute grot! A misty, drizzly, dull and dark morning, so typical of November, made for an extremely disappointing visit, if I discount the 30-40 ROOKS that were feeding on the Pub Field and the numerous WOODPIGEON that moved about the area, I reckon no more than 50 birds were seen / heard in the 3 hour visit, probably the quietest I've known my patch, apart from after heavy snow.

It would be hard to pick out a highlight, if I had to I suppose the KINGFISHER at the Ornamental Lake would be it, or maybe the MISTLETHRUSH and SONGTHRUSH that were bravely singing in the damp misty half light of the Scrubby Woods, where I did also hear a BULLFINCH call and a LESSER REDPOLL flyover.

Large parts of my walk were completely birdless, just the odd calling GREAT TIT, scolding WREN and ''chacking' JACKDAW rang out from the gloom, reminding me that there were birds out there somewhere!

This is all part of bird recording in the winter though, looking back at previous November blog entries there were also dire days that had to be endured, it can and does change though.......eventually!

Good job i've still got a few images in the 'blog folder' of the birds at my feeders, hard to image it was so bright and sunny when I took them at the weekend. No such goodies at my feeding station today, it was all very subdued here too, but that, in most part, was due to the SPARROWHAWK!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Another crisp and bright late autumn day, but again, due to having to see to the builders I only got a 90 minute mid morning patch walk, which was mostly spent over at the lakes and Scrubby Woods.

Not much at all was seen at the 3 small water bodies today, just the KINGFISHER of note, with only 4 MALLARDS and 2 MOORHENS being seen. The adjacent Scrubby Woods had a good number of common birds moving about in the leaf litter and the thinning canopy, these being mostly BLUE TITS, but also seen were GREAT TITS, CHAFFINCH, BULLFINCH, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, with them were TREECREEPER, COAL TIT and GOLDCREST, all of which were heard to sing, as did the now daily heard MISTLETHRUSH, it felt almost like April in the more sunnier sheltered parts of the woods  :-)

I left the area and headed for the open fields, hoping to add Yellowhammer to the November list, but didn't find one - to think they used to be seen in flocks here a few years ago  :-(  A few BLACK HEADED GULLS traversed the Pub Field, and the female KESTREL was hunting along the boundary there, giving me some more images of her. I finished up at the Greenhouse Grounds, where again the disturbance of the bonfire meant little was to be seen, however the small GOLDFINCH flock were feeding in the Alders, and I noticed an over flying GREY HERON head for the lake area, a couple of SISKIN were heard calling as they flew over, but that was my lot for the day. A pleasant, but short visit, if a bit frustrating !

Here's the female Kestrel anyway.

Monday, 25 November 2013

There was a bit of sunshine this morning and a slight frost, but I only had 90 minutes out to enjoy it, spending the large majority of that time over at the Lakes and Scrubby Woods.

The Mute Swans that I had seen fly off yesterday had not returned this morning, leaving only the KINGFISHER, 4 CANADA GEESE, 8 MALLARDS and a scattering of MOORHENS to be seen on the water.

I found the likes of TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST and NUTHATCH in the Scrubby Woods, and spent a while trying to get near enough for a photo of the Treecreeper as it flitted from tree to tree, but it was just too clever for me today  :-)  SISKIN and LESSER REDPOLL were heard going over as I chased the Treecreeper, plus BULLFINCH and COAL TIT called from further in the wood.

A brisk walk over to the Greenhouse Grounds warmed me up, and on the way I saw the male KESTREL up hunting, plus a LESSER BLACK BACK GULL flew over. Alas little was seen around the Greenhouse Grounds, as once again the work crew there were burning off the stack of redundant timber, all I recorded of note was a couple of flyover SKYLARK, and a group of 4 FIELDFARE that also went over without stopping.

Hopefully tomorrow I can get out for a bit longer, and a bit earlier!

More photo's from my garden feeding station, where this afternoon the SPARROWHAWK took a GOLDFINCH :-(  It really has got the garden pinned down at the moment, unfortunately.
Great Tit

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Just a few brighter intervals punctuated the mainly overcast sky this morning, when my 3 hour patch visit produced a below par 39 species.

Once again, as yesterday, some of the more regular species weren't found today, Pheasant, Long Tailed Tit, Redwing, Skylark and Sparrowhawk being among them. Other species that weren't seen yesterday did turn up today however, a single GREENFINCH over at the Scrubby Woods was one of those, as was the pair of FIELDFARE seen in a large Garden next to the Ashes lane Field, a NUTHATCH in the Wet Woods and a flyover MEADOW PIPIT also get a mention today.

The KINGFISHER was seen again on the Ornamental Lake, as were the MUTE SWANS, although I watched them fly off as I left the area - I wonder if that will be the last of them here ? MALLARDS had increased in number, with 18 being found over the 3 water bodies and 13 CANADA GEESE had joined them, few MOORHEN were seen, just 3 today.

The highlight of the morning for me this morning was finding another new species for the month, a COMMON GULL (65), which was seen on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, along with 14 BLACK HEADED GULLS, this November is now just 3 species away from the record November tally of 68, which was achieved in 2010. The most likely addition to the month now would be a flyover Yellowhammer, or maybe a Tawny Owl will be heard during the night, a flyover snipe is also a definite maybe!

The KESTREL pair were both back hunting around the Greenhouse grounds after going missing yesterday, also seen there, feeding on the ground, was a flock of 20 GOLDFINCH and 10 CHAFFINCH along with a pair of BULLFINCH, later in the day I scattered some sunflower hearts at the place where they had all gathered, maybe i'll attract a Brambling in!

That was about the best of it today, this coming weeks visits may be shorter and later in the day, as the builders are back in.

More images from my garden feeders, taken yesterday, all of BLUE TITS, I was trying to capture different postures, there'll be more posted later in the week  :-)
Blue Tits are Common enough birds here
I have up to 13 at the feeders at any one time
I reckon over a hundred must visit during the day
Blue Tit
Blue Tit

Saturday, 23 November 2013

The weather was much better than of late, being cold, clear and frosty this morning, allowing for a full patch walk, my first proper patch visit since Tuesday.

Although a rather low species count of 40 was achieved, I did find some good species for my patch in the 3 and a half hour visit, the first was a bit of a surprise when an overwintering male BLACKCAP (63) was seen, it was feeding in an apple tree which is in a large garden that backs onto the Small Holding, GREAT TIT, BLUE TIT, BLACKBIRD and REDWING were seen in the same tree.

I watched 8 CANADA GEESE fly over as I entered the Wet Woods, where JAY, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GOLDCREST, and TREECREEPER were found. On the Lakes the MUTE SWAN and KINGFISHER kept up their almost daily sighting, but only MALLARD and a couple of Moorhen were with them today. I spent some time in the Scrubby Woods searching for the regular woodland species, and found most of them, BULLFINCH, CHAFFINCH, GOLDFINCH, COAL TIT, SONGTHRUSH, DUNNOCK, WREN, ROBIN, GREEN WOODPECKER, MISTLETHRUSH were all added to my mornings list, plus flyovers from LESSER REDPOLL, SISKIN, PIED WAGTAIL, SKYLARK, BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULL were all noted. As I made my way out of the Scrubby Woods I disturbed the bird of the day, a WOODCOCK (64), a brilliant find for my patch, this species is a rare visitor indeed, and although I have recorded it once or twice every year since 2009, the preceding 7 years saw no records at all.

The second half of the walk, across the Ashes Lane Field, Pub Field, the paddocks and Pasture of Migrant Alley, plus a look through the Greenhouse Grounds and the associated Greenhouse Copse, produced just two new species for the mornings tally, those being the ROOKS on the pasture, and a flock of LONG TAILED TITS at the Greenhouse Grounds. Species such as Nuthatch, Greenfinch, Pheasant, Stock Dove, Fieldfare, Meadow Pipit, Sparrowhawk, and Little Owl could have all been expected on the list today, as well as the normally daily sighting of the Kestrel, but all these species avoided detection this morning, if found though, a tally nearer 50 would have been possible. I cant complain though, the two new species for the month were nice to find, and the November list now sits in joint 4th position out of 12  :-)

The camera got an outing today, but only this distant Songthrush obliged for me.
Songthrush, seen in the Wood pile at the Greenhouse Grounds
The same wood pile that is slowly being burned, lots of it left though!
This afternoon I had a go at getting some images of the garden birds at my feeding station back home, I got lots of Goldfinch shots, a few Blue Tit, and Great Tits, plus Nuthatch, Robin and Starling, all of which will brighten up the blog posts during the coming days. Here's a few Goldfinch to start of with  :-)
These are by far the most numerous species at the feeders.
Blogger is still making a mess of the background  :-(

Friday, 22 November 2013

Very little time was spent out today, I've got the builders doing the house up and needed to be around for them, they will be here the next few weeks and proper patch visits will be limited to weekends, but I should get some short weekday visits in  :-)

All I was able to do this morning was walk over to check the Lakes, where I found the MUTE SWANS and the KINGFISHER again, plus a male MANDARIN DUCK hiding under the overhanging branches, there is probably more but they are too well concealed from my viewing position.

A COAL TIT was seen as I passed by the Scrubby Woods, and a BULLFINCH was heard to call, a MISTLETHRUSH was singing loudly and three FIELDFARE flew over giving their 'chack chack chack' call.

All being well I should be out for a full patch walk tomorrow morning, and hopefully the weather will allow for the camera to be dusted off !

Thursday, 21 November 2013

I had a lot to get done today, so my patch visit was necessarily short this morning, just as well really as the rain and cold NE wind made for miserable affair!

However, it wasn't all doom and gloom, the sighting of a small flock of 18 LAPWING flying over the Ashes Lane Field was a cheery sight, nearby over at the Pub Field the KESTREL made light of the conditions and was hovering effortlessly on the cold wind.

A nice surprise awaited me on the Main Lake, no less than six TEAL (62) dropped in, five being female, a real treat for me on my patch especially at the lakes, Teal are more often seen in the Wet Woods, still, i'll take them anywhere, a good species for the November list  :-) I spied at least 1 MANDARIN DUCK hidden in the tangle of branches that overhang the water on the Main Lake, where 7 MALLARD were also seen, the MUTE SWANS and a few MOORHEN, plus the KINGFISHER on the Ornamental Lake made for quite a good collection of water birds for these normally empty water bodies!

The only other notables that were about this morning involved a couple of TREECREEPER seen in the Wet Woods, plus flyover LESSER REDPOLL, SISKIN and MEADOW PIPIT. Just one more new species for this month will make this the joint 5th best November, and two more will make it the joint 4th best, all I have to do is find them!!

I had no photo's for the blog today, then realised I had forgotten to put this Kestrel shot on from the other day, it's all there is left though!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Endless rain kept me off patch for most of the day today, I dont mind a bit of rain, but today was just awful!

A clearance in the weather was forecast, but this didn't happen until almost 15:00hrs, however, it left me enough time for a quick walk around the Ashes Lane field and Pub Field, then a stroll back up Ashes lane. The short 40 minute visit proved worthwhile though, as I saw 8 LAPWING (61) fly from the Pub Field, a very fortuitous find, the first new addition to the November list since the 12th. Not much else of note was seen, a couple of MEADOW PIPITS flew over, and the female KESTREL was sitting on a telephone pole along Ashes Lane.

Tomorrow doesn't look particularly promising, more rain forecast, and ive got to be back home from any patch visit by 10:00hrs  :-(

Here's the last of the photo's from my 'blog folder' I took these yesterday afternoon from my garden.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A better day weatherwise today, long sunny spells with just occasional cloud drifting over made for a pleasant 3 hour patch visit, it even felt quite warm out of the brisk NW breeze, warm enough for a Red Admiral Butterfly to flutter past me as I finished my walk.

Once again though, the bird numbers were well down, and a low total of just 39 species was recorded, missing are the winter thrushes, with just one FIELDFARE being seen, a roving mixed feeding flock is not unusual in November, but that has become a rare find this month, even the likes of Blackbird and Starling are not to be found in their usual numbers.

I was left with meeting up with most, but not all of the regular patch species, as I didn't find a Nuthatch or Coal Tit today, although they were seen in my garden this afternoon, along with a lone LESSER REDPOLL, a fantastic garden visitor, and the 40th species to visit my little garden this year, easily passing the previous best year tally of 36  :-). Anyway I digress, best of what was seen out on patch was much as has been recorded over recent visits, MUTE SWAN and KINGFISHER on the Ornamental lake are always good to have here, plus TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST and BULLFINCH in the Scrubby Woods are always worth the chase to get a photo - which I failed miserably to do!

The LITTLE OWL was flushed from the old shack by some bloke ferreting in the Ashes lane Filed - more disturbance I could do without, and the female KESTREL was seen hunting over the Pub Field, giving me some nice poses when it alighted a few times.
The female bird is a bit more approachable than the male
But still only puts up with so much camera clicking  :-)
Over at the Greenhouse Grounds the workers were once again enjoying a huge bonfire and by the looks of the large pile of waste timber, they will be disturbing the area for a few days yet  :-(  I did find a small group of GOLDFINCH on the other side of the site though, with them were a few SISKIN, and as I watched them a flock of a dozen or so LONG TAILED TITS breezed past me, heading for my garden feeders by the looks of it! A couple of GREENFINCH were seen along Ashes Lane as I walked home, the first seen away from my feeders for a week, and as I approached my house a SPARROWHAWK flew over, no doubt also heading for my house and the feeders there  :-)

Another visit with no addition to the months list then, surely something will turn up soon!

Monday, 18 November 2013

It was pretty dire this morning, misty, murky, dark and wet, the heavy drizzle was particularly wetting, and as I passed through the Wet Woods, the cascading water from the half leafed canopy wet me further as I passed through  :-(

I'd seen a COMMON BUZZARD earlier, feeding on worms in a field of seedling wheat that's adjacent to Ashes Lane, but that was about the limit of any interest until I reached the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, there on the Ornamental Lake, I found the MUTE SWANS, and fed them with the few old slices of bread I had brought over with me. The KINGFISHER was seen as I threw the bread out onto the water, and a GREY HERON dropped in, the adjacent Main lake had 2 pairs of MANDARIN DUCK sitting under the overhanging tree's, all good birds for November, but not new. I checked the dozen MALLARDS in case a female Gadwall, or Shoveler was hiding among them, but it wasn't to be.

I was quite wet by now, and took shelter in one of the out buildings, where I ate my Banana breakfast and listened to the singing of the MISTLETHRUSH and SONGTHRUSH again, they couldn't care less how wet it is! I heard BULLFINCH and COAL TIT call from the nearby Scrubby Woods, but I didn't walk through it this morning, I was wet enough, and decided to head over to the Greenhouse Grounds via the Ashes Lane Field. The latter had 5 female PHEASANT feeding in it, and 3 SKYLARK plus a MEADOW PIPIT flew over it, the old shack was scanned from a distance, and I just picked out the dark blob that was the LITTLE OWL.

The rain had all but ceased when I got to the Greenhouse Grounds, where the workers had got a huge roaring bonfire going, although it looked inviting to me, the birds thought little of the smoke and disturbance, so little was to be found in the nearby habitat, just a handful of GOLDFINCH and two SISKIN in the Alder Trees of note.

I had a short sky watch from my seat at Migrant alley, and noted at least 100 BLACK HEADED GULL out on the sheep pasture and paddocks, but not the hoped for Common Gull to add to the months list. My sky watch was pretty poor, not surprisingly in the misty murky conditions, but I did watch the male KESTREL up hunting, and a fly by SPARROWHAWK. I'd hoped for a Yellowhammer or Lapwing to go over, they and the Common gull are just about the most likely species to be added to the November list now, which has frustratingly stalled at 60 species.

The weather looks to be on the change from tomorrow, cooler and dryer conditions are set to arrive, that might bring in something new, maybe I can get the camera out again ?  :-)

All I have left in the ''Blog Photo Folder'' now are these two GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER images  :-(
Great Spotted Woodpecker, taken at my garden last week
Great Spotted Woodpecker, Female

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A short, ninety Minute patch visit, in some very grey and damp conditions this morning was all I could fit in today, most of that being spent over at the Lakes and Scrubby Woods, where my sightings showed me enough to realise I wasn't going to miss out on much had I been able to stay longer.

The MUTE SWANS were happily feeding on the Ornamental Lake, and the KINGFISHER was seen there again, after a two day absence, only MALLARDS and MOORHENS were present on the Main lake and Small Lake.

The surrounding Scrubby Woods was only quickly looked through, LONG TAILED TIT, GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH, SISKIN and BULLFINCH were found, and the MISTLETHRUSH was joined in song by a SONGTHRUSH, those, plus the singing WRENS and ROBINS made the grey and damp conditions a bit more bearable.

Two FIELDFARES were seen in one of the large gardens off the Ashes lane Field as I walked home and one of the KESTREL pair was seen in the distance hunting over the Pub Field. As I passed the Greenhouse Grounds the flock of 20ish GOLDFINCH were flitting about the Alder trees there, along with a couple more Siskin, 4 PIED WAGTAILS were sitting along the apex of the Greenhouse Rooves, but I had no more time for further investigation.

I've still got a few garden bird photo's left to brighten the posts, hopefully some brighter weather will move in soon with the colder snap thats forecast for mid week.
STARLING, I found the remains of one when I arrived home this afternoon
A neat pile of feathers and a head was found, Mr Sparrowhawk had been in!
LONG TAILED TITS, they continue to visit daily

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Clear skies and a slight frost greeted me this morning, great conditions for being out early on a November morning  :-)

With the good weather conditions I was hoping for a decent tally of bird species for todays patch walk, and although the count of 41 was better than on recent visits, it was still a bit on the low side, with the likes of Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Greenfinch, Stock Dove, Coal Tit, all not showing today, plus there were no sightings of any winter thrushes or Geese.

The best of the activity this morning was around the Greenhouse Grounds, where first thing I watched a small flock of a dozen or so GOLDFINCH feeding on Alder cones, with four LESSER REDPOLL and 3 SISKIN loosely associating with them. The pair of KESTRELS were sitting at their post roost poles, and a SPARROWHAWK went over menacingly.

Crossing the Ashes lane Field I heard just one MEADOW PIPIT fly over, plus 4 SKYLARKS, a couple of PIED WAGTAILS flew over to the Greenhouse Grounds, and the first BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS started to cross the sky. As I approached the Wet Woods a BUZZARD took off from the fence line, showing great skill in its flying abilities, avoiding the trees as it flew through the semi dark woods.

The lake area was only notable for the continued presence of the MUTE SWAN pair, and the Scrubby Woods was relatively quiet, with 6 BULLFINCH, a GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, 2 GOLDCREST, a couple more Lesser Redpoll and Siskin, plus the singing MISTLETHRUSH being the best of it, until the sighting of three RING NECKED PARAKEETS that noisily flew over, I wonder if they were the same three that were seen earlier in the month, there was no doubt that the one reported to me later in the morning from a garden feeding station was one of todays birds though.

I ended the visit back over at the Greenhouse Grounds, where I saw a LITTLE OWL, another was seen a bit later in the Greenhouse Copse. A flock of LONG TAILED TITS was scanned for any unusual interlopers, but just the normal BLUE TITS and GREAT TITS were among them today.

I didn't get a sniff of a photo opportunity, what a waste of all that good light! Sometimes it just doesn't happen though  :-)

Back to the garden birds then! No Ring Necked Parakeet at my feeders, although the NUTHATCH, COAL TIT and GREENFINCH showed up, also had a Goldcrest come in and the first HOUSE SPARROW this month.
Chaffinch, Female

Friday, 15 November 2013

Variable amounts of cloud blew over on a cool NW breeze this morning, when the two and a half hour patch visits produced only 37 species, the third visit on the trot that less than 40 species has been recorded, the numbers of birds were low too, with the only species seen in any numbers were the ROOKS and JACKDAWS on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley.

Most of what was recorded this morning appeared in the Scrubby Woods, Wet Woods and Small Holding, the best of which were a couple of LESSER REDPOLL with 4 SISKIN, plus 4 BULLFINCH at the Scrubby Woods, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, TREECREEPER and GOLDCREST in the Wet Woods, while the Small Holding had a couple of GREEN WOODPECKERS, a JAY and 4 fly through REDWING.

The MUTE SWANS are happily residing on the Ornamental Lake, but for the first time this month the Kingfisher wasn't seen there.

A SPARROWHAWK was up hunting over the Ashes Lane Field, and the KESTREL pair were back on patch, hunting over the Pub Field, where just a single SKYLARK was heard as it flew over, apart from that it's all a bit subdued out there !

Numerous species were seen in my garden this afternoon that weren't found this morning, NUTHATCH, LONG TAILED TIT, GREENFINCH, and COAL TIT all came to the feeders, maybe I should be looking a bit harder out there  :-)

Here's few of the garden regulars to brighten the post  ;-)
Great Tit