The morning flattered to deceive, with early brightness that urged me to take my camera out, soon disappearing under grey clouds, on the plus side though it remained dry and relatively windless :-)
I headed for the lakes first thing, crossing the Ashes Lane Fields on the way, where I saw a flyover of 44 FIELDFARE, plus 8 MEADOW PIPITS in the grassland. The lakes had a CORMORANT fishing, but nothing else was visiting, the KINGFISHER was seen again, I hope it stays around for the December species list!
A SONGTHRUSH was singing in the Scrubby Woods and a pair of COAL TITS gathered seed from a conifer tree, which was home to a GOLDCREST. Only one BULLFINCH was seen, in what was a very quiet Scrubby Woods today.
I checked the Wet Woods just in case there was a Mandarin Duck lurking for the months list, but alas, that one has eluded the November tally this year. There was a party of 8 LONG TAILED TITS there though, with a few BLUE and GREAT TITS and another Goldcrest.
I made my way over to the Greenhouse Grounds, finding the female KESTREL sitting on one of the glasshouses, two YELLOWHAMMERS flew over and a GREYWAGTAIL dropped into the small reservoir area, another species I hope I can get on the December list! I scanned the sheep pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley, finding the usual STARLING flock of 200-250 birds, plus the ROOKS and JACKDAWS, turning to scan the fields adjacent to High House lane, I could see a BUZZARD feeding, and a few SKYLARK flying low over the bean crop.
So the month ends on a quiet visit, but this November was far from quiet, as already mentioned yesterday it was a record breaking November, with 70 species being found, two better than the previous best tally of 2010. Two of those species were new to any November, the Tufted Duck and the Barnacle Goose, how has that managed to avoid detection in previous Novembers ? :-) They bring the combined 13 year November tally to 89, which happens to be the same as June, it is the third lowest combined tally, only January and February have lower totals.
I'm looking forward to next months challenge, the December record stands at 72 species, a record that I think will stand for a long time, as that December had some extremely cold weather, sending all sorts of species my way! I'll be happy with 61 species though, as that will take the average species total seen per month for this year to exactly 70, a feat only achieved once before, in that bumber year of 2010.
Just one photo taken today, a snatched shot of a HOUSE SPARROW making the most of a battered hedgrow for some cover.