I let the rain pass before getting out this morning, which it did around 09:00hrs, but despite the later visit I found some birds of interest. The SPARROWHAWK had annoyed me once already, taking a finch from my garden feeders earlier, it annoyed me again when it sped through the Greenhouse Grounds just as I arrived, sending everything deep into cover.
I had a circuit of Migrant Alley, where not much was about, a flock of 75 + STARLINGS was on one of the paddocks, plus 3 LINNETS were on the fence line, while on the adjacent pasture a flock of at least 20 MEADOW PIPITS were actively moving about. Overhead, 7 BLACK HEADED GULLS flew over, as did three single HERRING GULLS, it was as I watched one of these that the swarm of HOUSE MARTINS and SWALLOWS were noted higher up.
Heading back to the Greenhouse Grounds things had come out of hiding, a GREY WAGTAIL flew down onto a large puddled area, 2 CHIFFCHAFF were in the nettle bed and at least 8 SISKIN were feeding in the line of Alder Trees, there was no sign of the Kestrel today however.
I walked the Pub Field next, where another flock of at least 15 Meadow pipits were on the new sown grass silage crop and 2 SKYLARKS flew over ''chirriping'' as they went, passing into the Ashes Lane Field I scanned the fence line along the drainage ditch and saw 11 Swallows lined up, with them were yet more Meadow Pipits, half a dozen at least, with another 15-20 in the adjacent grass silage crop. As I tried to sneak up to the Meadow Pipits to get a photo, I heard a familiar call, I looked up to see three LESSER REDPOLL (72) drop in to join the Pipits and Swallows, these took priority for that photo!
These are the first Lesser Redpoll of the Autumn, only the second September record of this species, the last being in 2006.
Lesser Redpoll. Just the second record for the year.
They look much better on the seeding Willow Herb than the barbed wire fence :-)
The light could have been better, but i'm happy enough with these shots :-)
Superb little finches! Lesser Redpoll takes the September list to 72 species, the eighth best September tally, but it would only take two more species to make it to third best, Yellowhammer or Reed Bunting may well be possible ;-)
I left the throng at the drainage ditch and headed for the lakes, but as I crossed the field the loud noise of GREYLAG GEESE were heard approaching, I waited, then watched, as skeins of them passed over, in all I counted 372 geese, but a few were undoubtedly missed.
On reaching the lakes, more geese were heard, these were CANADA GEESE, I counted 183 of them on the main lake, but yesterdays Teal had moved on, no room for them! There were 2 GREY HERONS on the small lake, but nothing of note on the ornamental lake today.
I had a look around the Scrubby Woods, where another 2 Chiffchaff were found, along with the likes of GOLDCRESTS, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH, GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS, plus 4 more Siskins, but no Blackcaps were seen today.