Autumn is here!
I carried out a four hour full patch walk this morning, finding a good total of 46 bird species, this despite not finding some of the woodland bird species, such as Stock Dove, Treecreeper, Nuthatch or Long Tailed Tit, nor did I find a Pheasant, all are normally regular on my full patch walks.
There were however, seven additions to the October list, with some real goodies, (for my patch) turning up, like the 2 TEAL (46) that were on the main lake, about time something turned up there! The months first CORMORANT (47) was also at the main lake, along with the usual MALLARDS and MOORHENS. The first SISKIN (48) of the Autumn was heard, then watched, as it flew over the scrubby Woods, 9 days earlier than the 15 year average mean first sighting date.
Over at the Greenhouse grounds there were more surprises awaiting, firstly, a SNIPE (49) flew up from next to my Sky watching seat at the boundary hedge, but even more exciting was finding 3 STONECHATS feeding along the same boundary, occasionally making feeding sorties into Migrant Alley, I have recorded two together on my patch before, but three is a new peak count! A couple of CHIFFCHAFFS were also nearby.
Flyovers from a few SWALLOWS, a GREY HERON, small parties of both HERRING and BLACK HEADED GULLS, lots of MEADOW PIPITS, plus the raptor species of SPARROWHAWK, KESTREL and BUZZARD, the latter of which there were 3, helped the days list along.
As I walked a circuit of Migrant Alley, I spotted a WHEATEAR (50) out on one of the paddocks, along with a lone LINNET (51). later, as I walked homewards, the call of a LITTLE OWL (52) was heard coming from the Small Holding Area, three more for the October list.
Time spent with stonechats paid off, as I got a few decent images eventually........