Walking along Ashes lane first thing, I watched a HOUSE MARTIN flying around over the Greenhouse Grounds, this is quite a late one for my patch, ive only got two later records, one from 2006 (22nd Oct) and one from 2012 (20th Oct). At the Greenhouse Grounds I saw plenty of BLACKBIRDS, WRENS, DUNNOCKS and ROBINS, plus small numbers of CHAFFINCHES, BLUE and GREAT TITS. A SONGTHRUSH was seen with the mixed SISKIN and GOLDFINCH flock in the Alders, which were also joined by a minimum of 4 LESSER REDPOLL again.
I headed for my seat for an early Sky watch, which was quite active today, I watched the female KESTREL fly over and alight on one the greenhouses, plus 3 MISTLETHRUSH and 2 FIELDFARE alighted briefly in the grounds. The PIED WAGTAILS streamed out of their overnight greenhouse roost, calling manically as they went, it soon went quiet again and I was able to pick out calls from Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, MEADOW PIPIT, SKYLARK, YELLOWHAMMER and my first REED BUNTING (69) since August. I kept scanning the HERRING GULLS as they went over, hoping to add a Lesser Black Backed Gull to the October list, but none were seen, BLACK HEADED GULL were the only other Gull species seen to go over. Many small groups silhouetted finch sized birds were seen high up, but I couldn't hear any call from them, I put them down as probable Chaffinches :-)
After around 90 minutes I moved on to have a look at the lakes, on the way, as I walked the Ashes Lane Fields, I spotted 2 SWALLOWS flying low over the pasture and saw a flock of 30+ REDWING headed NW, a BUZZARD flew from the nearby Wet Woods, then quickly dropped back in again. It then dawned on me that I hadn't seen or heard the large skeins of Geese this morning, just like that, they have apparently moved on.
On arriving at the lakes I found just the lone CANADA GOOSE that has been there for the last few visits, but the Mandarin Ducks had moved on, leaving just a few MALLARD and MOORHEN, but a sighting of the KINGFISHER made the trip worth while :-) A quick look in the Scrubby Woods was had, where of note, a flock of LONG TAILED TITS, 2 GOLDCRESTS, a NUTHATCH and a CHIFFCHAFF were found.
Later in the afternoon, a brief spell of watery sunshine was enjoyed, so I tried to get some garden bird images, I succeeded in getting a few Blue Tit and Goldfinch photo's, but as soon as the bird numbers built up, raising my hopes of getting a Coal Tit or Great Spotted Woodpecker image, in came the SPARROWHAWK :-( I took this rather quirky image of it, I knew he could see me, but he wasn't sure if I could see him !