Monday 23 November 2009

I got home from work this afternoon, and as I ate lunch, the sky darkened and the wind got up, then it threw it down - nothing new there then!

I was determined to get out though, and inspired by yesterdays Coot, at the lake, and the sighting of the months first Little owl, I trudged off out, just to visit the lake area. Unsurprisingly I saw very little as the wind blown rain lashed aginst me, a few GREAT TITS in a garden hedge by the small holding, that had more sense than me were sheltering from the worst of the elements, and a JAY screeched from the orchard, as if to mock me. I was pleased to get to the wet woods for a respite from the wind, but the leafless trees did nothing to shelter me from the heavy rain, the pools in the woods are filling nicely now, and I saw 4 MALLARD dabbling on one of the larger ones, maybe there will still be time yet to record a November Teal here.

Upon reaching the lake I was soaked through, and what did I get for my efforts ? Well, as I sheltered from the rain in an old outbuilding that coveniently overlooks most of the lake, I saw through the broken windows, 8 Mallard and 4 MOORHEN on the initial scan, but then I saw a CORMORANT surface, it had caught a decent size fish, and swallowed it down, a bit more scanning produced nothing more, and I looked out the other side of the building, which has a view of some of the scrubby area, there I watched a male CHAFFINCH enjoying the wet weather, and 4 BULLFINCH'S doing the same, but everything else was sheltering.

The rain then died down a bit, and I thought i'd get home before the next downpour, however, I thought i'd just give the lake one more scan, and I was glad I did, because as I scanned along the overhanging tree branches, I saw my first LITTLE GREBE (109) of the year, fantastic! This years total really has smashed last years record of 106 species, I think next year is going to be hard work. :-)

This is the first Little Grebe I have recorded since an individual over wintered in 07/08, that one arrived on 31 Dec. 07 and stayed around until the 29th of Mar. 08, so maybe this one will stick around for the Dec. list!

Whilst looking at my stats, I also saw that this is the first Little Grebe to be recorded in any November, bringing the cumulative November total for the 8 years to 78. Not surprisingly this is the second lowest cumulative monthly total, but what is surprising, is it now puts the month of August at the bottom, with just 77 species for the 8 years, surely this is one month I will improve on next year!

No pics again today, the weather was just too awful to even take the camera out!!


Greenie said...

Warren ,
You did well getting out , the rain hardly stopped here , and when it did , the wind was howling like a banshee .
The Little Grebe has obviously given you a lift .

Chris said...

Hi Warren,
109 species for the year, this makes me dreaming!! Well done on the little grebe that I've so far never seen. I hope I will be able to see it one day, at least in France. Here the weather is nice but it is really cold, and no birds really... The snow has not come yet, and I'm waiting for it, as the birds will then come downtown!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Surprise - surprise!!! Nice one Warren. More to come? - lets hope so.



ShySongbird said...

Well done on the Little Grebe Warren!

Thanks for the answer to my question, it made me laugh but at least your waiting is well rewarded eventually :)

Anonymous said...

Yeh, well done, Warren.
Don`t know if i`ve missed owt. Back to decorating, again.

Pete Woodruff said...

Managed four hours today Warren (half a days birding by my standards)......well it is nearly December and the short dreary winter days that go with it.

I'm doing OK for the Little Grebe with up to ten on Conder Pool as you will have seen/noted no doubt.

Kelly said...

My goodness, are one dedicated birder. Your post was very exciting today. I almost think you enjoyed sloshing through the torrent, but didn't you just get over the flu? Glad your Little Grebe showed up--that is nice.