Dense fog, which lasted all day, made for a very poor first patch visit of the month.
My 4 and a half hour full patch walk this morning yielded just 35 species, I was lucky to find those, as the fog reduced visibility down to 30 yards in places.
Here's what showed itself though,
ROBIN, BLACKBIRD, JACKDAW, DUNNOCK, BLUE TIT and GOLDCREST were all heard as I set off along Ashes Lane towards the Greenhouse Grounds, where I found SONGTHRUSH, WREN, CARRION CROW, PIED WAGTAIL, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, SISKIN and GOLDFINCH. I could hear a REED BUNTING calling from the boundary hedgerow, and eventually saw it, a good species for the months list, as were the YELLOWHAMMER and LINNET that were also seen in the hedgerow. I saw nothing whatsoever as I walked a circuit of the fog bound paddocks and sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, and only added MAGPIE at the Greenhouse Copse.
A couple of REDWING flew from a large garden as I walked the Pub Field, while just GREAT TIT and MEADOW PIPIT were added to the months list from the Ashes Lane Field. I could hear MALLARD and MOORHEN calling from the lakes, but could see virtually none of the waters surface, so anything could have been out there!
I heard or glimpsed the months first NUTHATCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, JAY, BULLFINCH, and MISTLETHRUSH at the Scrubby Woods, but a visit to the Wet Woods was totally unproductive. The Small Holding turned up a GREEN WOODPECKER for the November list, as well as a flock of LONG TAILED TITS, which had a COAL TIT with them.
Walking along High House Lane I listened for skylark which can normally be heard over the adjacent Bustard Hill, but none were heard this morning, I only added COLLARED DOVE and STARLING that were in a garden off the lane. I was going to head home, but realised I had not found a House Sparrow all morning, in 14 years I have never made a patch visit without finding this species and I wasn't going to miss it off my list today! I made the effort to look around the boiler houses back at the Greenhouse Grounds, where a couple of pairs can usually be found when I'm desperate, sure enough there was a cock HOUSE SPARROW - just one! How bad has it got now, that you have to seriously search to find a House sparrow!!!
The SPARROWHAWK made several attempts at making a kill at my garden feeders this afternoon, eventually taking a Chaffinch, so the November species list ended on 36, very poor!
No photo's today in the fog, plus the 'blog folder' has run dry, not sure when the camera will make it out again!