Wednesday 31 October 2007

Todays walk into work was mildly more exciting, as there was a passage of WOODPIGEON going south. In the half hour it took me to walk to work, I counted over 1000 birds, in groups of 50 - 300. The afternoon was a case of enforced garden watching.I was awaiting a delivery. In two hours only 13 species visited the feeders, with such noteable exceptions as Starling and Blackbird. I have only had singles of the latter on 3 dates in October. One good thing - the Sparrowhawk didn't visit, if it stays away for any length of time the garden can get really busy.

Tuesday 30 October 2007

The walk to work didn't throw up any surprises. A few GULLS and WOODPIGEON flew southwest, and a flock of mixed corvids fed in the sheep/horse paddocks. A bush, in the Hadlow college grounds held a TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST, GREAT TIT and DUNNOCK but I didn't really have time to scan it for anything else. The walk back was even quieter, so I decided, once home I would do a spot of garden bird watching. The feeders were busy with plenty of GOLD, GREEN, and CHAFFINCH as well as BLUE, GREAT, and COAL TITS. A single G S WOODPECKER fed on sunflower hearts and peanuts, a couple of NUTHATCH scuttled up and down the elder tree caching seeds in crevices. There were no new species for the month though, and it looks as though October will finish on a total of 25.

Monday 29 October 2007

I only got the chance to get out about 3:45, and dusk was upon me before I knew it. I went to migrant alley, and sat on the horse jump, overlooking the glasshouse complex. Its here I can sit and watch the PIED WAGTAILS come in to roost. I counted 60 going over my head, but there were more than that coming in from other directions. In the sheep and horse paddocks, MEADOW PIPITS were ''seep seeping'' around, and a Couple of SKYLARKS dropped down to join them. Around 40 B H GULLS and 4 HERRING GULLS, flew over going north.

Sunday 28 October 2007

Interesting Fungi Formation (Species Unknown)

A very quiet walk round today. A total of 41 species was seen, but it was hard work, as the actual numbers of birds were very low. There was a lot of Gull activity though, a continual movement of two's and three's of HERRING GULL and B H GULL with singles of LBB GULL and COMMON GULL -new species for the month, a larger group of 22 B H GULL did go through as well. Today was my 101st full walk round this year, and I should get another 20 in before the years end. Octobers species total is now at 63 - A record high for October.

Saturday 27 October 2007

Looking North through ''Migrant Alley''

The River Bourne Running Through Hadlow College

A Flailed Hedgrow Worthless as a Habitat or Winter Food Source

A ''Proper'' Hedgerow

An Albino Squiirel - a bit blurred !!

The weather for the day started as the previous few have - dull and cool. By the time I had finished the four hour circuit of the patch,it was sunny and warm. I took along a camera today, but as i'm yet to learn how to use it the pics are pretty ropey! I've put some on anyway. Birdwise I recorded 44 species, not bad for an october day, winter thrushes were much in evidence, as were GOLDCREST, there seemed to be one in every tree and bush. Flyovers included CORMORANT and a lone BRAMBLING, a few B H GULLS flew south along with 5 HERRING GULLS. I was a bit surprised to hear a SONG THRUSH singing - a bit early?

Friday 26 October 2007

I spent an hour or so searching the waterlogged wood this pm, in the hope of finding the first Redpoll of the year or maybe a LS Woodpecker, but I failed dismally. There were at least half a dozen GOLDCREST seen and heard though, and a TREECREEPER called whilst I watched a pair of NUTHATCH cashing away seeds in any tree crevice they could find.
A wander over to the lake was a quiet affair. A HERON fed under the overhanging trees at the waters edge, and 14 MALLARD splashed about noisily. A couple of COAL TIT called from the scrub behind the lake.
I met the groundsman who was felling the Hornebeam trees, and had a word with him, he promised to use some of the logs to create a couple of woodpiles, if I didn't hold the tree felling against him - Deal!

Wednesday 24 October 2007

No visit was made to the surrounding patch today, instead I did a 4 hour garden bird watch. From 1.30 - 5.30 I watched the comings and goings of 16 species as they fattened up for the Autumn. the best of the 16 were -: A pair of COAL TITS, a pair of NUTHATCH and a Pair of GOLDCRESTS. One of the latter spent some minutes bathing in one of the small ponds - quite a risky bussiness, as earlier the SPARROWHAWK had taken a GOLDFINCH doing the same thing.
Birds seen in the vicinity or flying over my garden were few, but included- ROOK, CARRION CROW, JACKDAW,WOOD PIGEON, GREEN WOODPECKER, MISTLE THRUSH, BLACK HEADED GULL and BLACKBIRD. Blackbirds don't seem to be coming back to the garden yet, after their usual abandonment in early August.
The total species visiting the garden for this October stands at 24, with the total for combined Octobers at 30.

Tuesday 23 October 2007

A cool, frosty morning with just a light easterly wind - good conditions for a few flyovers. It proved to be so, at least to start of with, as a lone CORMORANT flew to a small lake just off my patch. Thereafter it was all frustration! At the lake, a noisey chainsaw rang out as one of the large gardens bordering it had the groundsman felling the hornbeam trees, and putting in rhodadendrons! This is likely to go on for weeks, so finding anything on the pond will be a bit challenging to say the least.
As I walked through the waterlogged wood the chainsaw could still be heard, and nothing was seen there. I stopped off halfway round at my house, for a quick snack and drink and carried on to the tree nursery and farmland, where I picked up a few common species and suprisingly again found a WHEATEAR, probably the same one as seen at the weekend. Things took another turn for the better when a COMMON BUZZARD flew north, chased by a dozen crows, this upturn didn't last long! Hedge trimming had started, and a hedge destroying machine went round all the fields and tracks, how annoying. Then I found a freshly dead badger on the road, only the second record of badger here (the other was at least alive!) it wasn't going to be my day! There was a small consalotion as I neared home - a CHIFFCHAFF was found, the first since 11 oct, I wonder if it will over winter?
Todays total was a surprising 44 species, none new for the month though.

Monday 22 October 2007

It was chilly and grey when I set off for an afternoon walk over part of my patch. I spent 90 mins or so walking to the small lake via the tree nursery and waterlogged wood. Nothing of much note was seen, but G S and GREEENWOODPECKERS called, ROBINS sang all over the place and the odd MEADOW PIPIT flew up. At the lake a GREY HERON was feeding along with the usual half dozen MALLARD and and few MOORHEN. On the way back BULLFINCH could be heard, and overhead 5 B H GULLS flew north.

Sunday 21 October 2007

Another sunny morning, not as many birds about today though! 44 species were seen and once again the WHEATEAR was relocated, thus making today the latest autumn sighting for this species. a CORMORANT flew north, not a very common sighting here, and it was quickly followed by a flock of 50+ FIELDFARE. A MARSH TIT fed at the Garden feeding station, but there was no sign of the Brambling.

An excellent morning was had today, with 50 species beeing seen. The highlights were - a superb male STONECHAT, one of several seen this autumn, this is usually a really scarce migrant on my patch. Also a WHEATEAR, another migrant, but a regular one in spring/autumn- this individual was the latest Autumn observation in the six years of visiting my patch. The good run of migrant sightings continued with a pair of SISKIN, found feeding in an alder, with half a dozen Goldfinchs.I arrived home to find a pair of BRAMBLING at the garden feeding station (part of my patch). This was the first Autumn sighting of this species for my patch, only previously being recorded in feb, March or April, it was also only the second record for my garden, the last was in 2002.
The total species for this October is now 61, an October high - joint with last year. The total for combined Octobers stands at 74.