Monday, 20 October 2014

Early cloud dispersed this morning to leave another unseasonably warm day, with some good sunny spells to enjoy  :-)

I headed for the lakes first thing, but it was crossing through the Small Holding that I added another species to the October list when the anticipated SISKIN (71) flew over calling, hopefully they will arrive in numbers soon. That makes this Octobers species tally the 4th best October of the 13 years, still 6 species behind the record October tally set in 2010 though.

Walking through the Wet Woods I heard GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS calling and a couple of MOORHENS were seen picking their way through the small pools of shallow water, I was hoping for a Teal though  :-)

I was disappointed at the lakes again, just a pair of MANDARIN DUCK were there of any note, they were hiding under the tree overhang on the main lake. The adjacent scrubby Woods was very quiet, only BULLFINCH (around 6-8 of them) GOLDCREST ( 4 were seen) and a flock of around 8 LONG TAILED TITS were to be found out of the more scarce woodland species.

I made my way over to the Greenhouse Grounds and Migrant Alley via the Ashes Lane Fields, where I noted a CORMORANT flying over. The MEADOW PIPITS at Migrant Alley seem to have dispersed, only half a dozen were seen, it was the same for the LINNETS, just 4 were left, but the GOLDFINCHES numbered around 35 and were found in the Alders that form the boundary with the Greenhouse Grounds. I checked the Greenhouse Copse for a Little Owl, but it wasn't to be found today, however i found something much better, yet another STONECHAT ! It flew from the edge of the copse and out onto a paddock fence line, what a good autumn its been for this species, normally they are hard to get on the year list, but this is the 6th record for just this month!

A bit of sky watching was done from my seat, where of note I saw another Cormorant go over, a few SKYLARKS, a GREY WAGTAIL, and hundreds of WOODPIGEONS all heading SW in varying size flocks. Raptors were only represented by the KESTREL pair and a lone BUZZARD today.

Speaking of raptors, it was whilst trying to get some garden bird images this afternoon, that I of course encountered the SPARROWHAWK again, it made so many attacks that virtually nothing else was seen at the feeders, just a few brave BLUE and GREAT TITS, however, it finally got its dinner when a GREENFINCH was unfortunate enough to turn up  :-(  The Sprawk settled down just 4 meters from my position (in my shed) so close I couldn't get all of it in the view finder, a shame but I got some more decent images of it's upper body!

What superb eye! If you look carefully you can see the reflection of the sun and clouds in it!


Marc Heath said...

Stunning captures Warren. Are you sure that its not the same Stonechat hanging around.

Warren Baker said...

Todays Stonechat could possibly be yesterdays bird, but todays bird was 600-700 meters north of yesterdays, on the other side of the Greenhouses, hard to say really :-)

Pete Woodruff said...

Excellent full frame images of your garden Sparrowhawk Warren. A smart little bird of prey with eyes of pure evil.