Monday, 13 October 2014

Heavy overnight rain persisted into this morning and I didn't get out until 08:30hrs, even then, heavy bursts of rain cut my visit short, to just over an hour.

A walk around Migrant Alley in a downpour meant the only thing I noted was a flyover CORMORANT, I was going to call it a day, but the rain eased off, so I headed off for the lakes via the Ashes lane Field, where I saw the LITTLE OWL looking a lot dryer than I was as it sat in the old shack  ;-)

I didn't stay long around the lakes as there was not much too see, just the MUTE SWANS, MOORHENS and MALLARDS, plus the rain started to fall again. As I took shelter under an out building there, I watched two MISTLETHRUSHES fly over, then a GREY HERON, but I was more pleased to see 9 LAPWING (66) a new species for the months list. As the rain eased I made a dash for home, but not before seeing a small flock of 5 BULLFINCH moving through the Scrubby Woods.

Around Midday I was back out, the rain had more or less stopped and it remained grey and windy, but remarkably mild, so much so I saw a Red Admiral Butterfly and a Migrant Hawker Dragonfly at the Greenhouse Grounds, where I also saw a CHIFFCHAFF, 2 GOLDCRESTS and 2 GREY WAGTAILS.

I was soon watching the sky by my seat at Migrant Alley, where a few good patch species were recorded flying over. An initial skein of 10 CANADA GEESE with a GREYLAG GOOSE flew low over and was soon followed by another skein of  67 Canada Geese, which contained the BARNACLE GOOSE. A party of 15 - 20 SWALLOWS fed briefly over the poly tunnels, then a little later 5 HOUSE MARTINS flew through. Out on the sheep pasture and paddocks I could see a flock of at least 55 GOLDFINCH feeding on dandelion heads, whilst nearby a flock of 50-60 STARLINGS joined the ROOKS and JACKDAWS. Continuing to look into the grey clouds, I picked out another SNIPE, which came down low, but failed to drop into the fields, instead carrying on SW. A SPARROWHAWK flushed all the passerines up from the paddocks and pasture, then a while later everything was up again, this time it was a PEREGRINE ! No Buzzards were seen today, but on the walk home I saw the male KESTREL along Ashes Lane, looking striking in its new plumage.

Back home the garden feeders were very busy, my thoughts went to ''where has the Sparrowhawk gone'' minutes later ......whoosh! A Goldfinch was in the grip of the Sprawk, rather annoyingly it sat and plucked it on the log I put the seed on, so I had to later throw out the seed and clean the feathers and bits off the log  :-(

I took a photo of the Sprawk despite the dire light, it took no notice of me at all as I poked the lens out of my kitchen window

I took these photo on Saturday, good to see the Coal Tit back in my garden....mind that sprawk!


Pete Woodruff said...

We get the S'hawk and Coal Tit in the garden, always good to see the latter.

Got caught out in the rain myself today Warren, 45 minutes away from the motor and nowhere to hide....not happy.

Warren Baker said...

Not much fun when you're rained on continually is it Pete, unless something good turns up :-)