Saturday 31 October 2015

I finally recorded  TAWNY OWL (73) for the months list, when two were heard last night at just before 02:00hrs.

Four and a half hours later, I was out for the months last patch visit, in yet more gloomy and misty conditions, typically, it brightened up as my four and a half hour full patch walk was ending!

There were no further additions the October list, but a good total of 46 species were seen or heard, 47 if I include the Tawny Owls  :-)

Best birds seen on my walk today were singles of LINNET and YELLOWHAMMER that were at the Greenhouse Grounds along with the nearby SISKIN and GOLDFINCH flock. Also the LITTLE OWL that called from the Small Holding area, where a few REDWINGS were present.

Flyovers from LESSER REDPOLL, MEADOW PIPIT, MISTLETHRUSH, a flock of 22 FIELDFARE, a skein of 14 GREYLAG GEESE and a few SKYLARK flocks, the biggest being of 8 birds, helped the days list along, as did the mixed flock of 43 Gulls on the sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, which included a lone LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL with the HERRING and BLACK HEADED GULLS .

BUZZARD and KESTREL were the only raptors for the day, while the Wet Woods and Scrubby Woods between them provided most of the more sometimes difficult to find species, like GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, JAY, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER and SONGTHRUSH, but no Treecreeper today. The lakes were occupied by just the usual MALLARDS and MOORHENS..

So the months list ended on 73 species, the fifth best October total of the 14, just one short of the mean species tally for the previous 5 years, but six ahead of the 14 year October mean. Only one species was added to the 14 year combined October tally which now stands at exactly 100,  that was the Goosander.

A little bit of brightness this afternoon allowed for a couple of bird images to be taken from my garden.

Great Spotted Woodpecker


BLUE TIT, this one has a deformed, crossed beak.

Friday 30 October 2015

Moderate rain fell this morning, but it was windless and warm for the time of year.

I had just a couple of hours to spare this morning, as  a busy day lie ahead, but in the very dark and wet conditions I was barely out for an hour. I visited the lakes, in the hope of something new for the October list, maybe a Coot or Tufted Duck had dropped in, but no luck, just 14 MALLARD and 4 MOORHEN were on the ornamental lake, along with a visiting GREY HERON and a KINGFISHER, the small lake and main lake were totally birdless  :-(

A look around the Scrubby Woods had me scanning through a LONG TAILED TIT flock, which had with it 2 GOLDCRESTS, 2 TREECREEPERS and a few BLUE and GREAT TITS, I suppose a Firecrest would have been a bit optimistic!

On my trudge back home across the very wet pasture at the Ashes Lane Field, a MEADOW PIPIT flew up and a few BLACK HEADED GULLS were noted flying over, but I had had enough of the rain by then, so headed off home !

Maybe the last visit of the month tomorrow will throw up a new species for the October list, it is still 2 species short of the mean average total for the previous 5 Octobers, but the overall mean average October tally for the 14 years is 67, so i'm well ahead of that at least, with this months total of 72.

These images are the last I left in the 'Blog photo folder'

The Blue Tits are just about the only species in my garden quick enough to evade the Sparrowhawk    ( usually!)

Looking at the weather ahead I could well struggle to get more images  :-(

Thursday 29 October 2015

Short lived sunny spells early this morning, were soon replaced by grey, overcast skies, when it remained warm for the time of year.

A pair of GREY WAGTAILS flew from the water intake area of the Greenhouse Grounds, where the SISKIN and GOLDFINCH flock had been joined once again by half a dozen LESSER REDPOLLS.

Siskin, early this morning

This female was enjoying a good preen  :-)

I watched a skein of 16 GREYLAG GEESE fly over the birdless pasture and paddcoks of Migrant Alley, flyovers from SKYLARK, BLACK HEADED GULL and HERRING GULL were also seen, plus a nice orderly line of 6 CORMORANTS.

3 of the 6 Cormorants that flew over

A walk across the Ashes lane Fields produced the long staying MEADOW PIPITS, maybe 4 - 6 birds being present, also 11 FIELDFARE flew low over ''Chacking'' all the while.

Once again the lakes were poor for wildfowl, the only visitor being a GREY HERON on the small lake, the MALLARDS had reduced to just 6 in number. The adjacent Scrubby Woods had the regular GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH, LONG TAILED TIT, BULLFINCH, SONGTHRUSH, 6 more Siskin, plus a BUZZARD that must have roosted there and overhead the male KESTREL was seen again.

This BLACKBIRD was feasting on the hawthorn berries, shame the light had gone by now

I made the walk back to my seat for a sky watch, but my hours vigil only produced a few REDWING and a MISTLETHRUSH for the day. The Siskin, Goldfinch and Redpolls had moved on now the workers were at the Greenhouse Grounds, but the female KESTREL had turned up.

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Heavy rain this morning turned lighter, eventually dying out by 09:30hrs, leaving sunny spells for the afternoon.

I let the heavy rain pass before heading out this morning, so I didn't get out until 08:00hrs. I didn't see much of interest in the wet conditions, October seems to be fizzling out tamely!  I visited the Lakes first off, seeing a flock of LONG TAILED TITS at the ashes Lane Fields on the way. There were 16 MALLARDS on the ornamental lake, with a few MOORHENS, but the main lake was, as usual, devoid of wildfowl, as was the small lake. I saw a flock of 6 BULLFINCHES in the Scrubby Woods and heard both NUTHATCH and COAL TIT calling, GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS also put in an appearance, and the male KESTREL was hunting overhead, the first I've seen of him since the 6th.

I had a quick look around the Wet Woods, where I found another Long Tailed Tit flock, with this one were 2 GOLDREST, 2 TREECREEPER, and a few BLUE and GREAT TITS.

Heading over to Migrant Alley and the Greenhouse Grounds 2 BUZZARDS were watched as they soared over the Wet Woods. The Greenhouse Grounds was by now well disturbed by the workers, so most of the SISKIN / GOLDFINCH flock had dispersed from the Alder trees, but the female Kestrel was back at her place.

Only a few BLACK HEADED GULLS and HERRING GULLS were out on the paddocks of Migrant Alley, along with a small flock of 20 or so STARLINGS, plus the mixed bunch of Corvids and WOODPIGEONS. With migration just about over, I dont expect to see much difference in the bird life out on the fields and paddocks now.

A short sky watch produced one or two each of MEADOW PIPIT, YELLOWHAMMER, LESSER REDPOLL, and SKYLARK, as well as a small flock of 6 REDWING and 12 FIELDFARE, the latter dropped down to feed in the Greenhouse Grounds boundary hedgerow for all of 45 seconds, before moving on. A skein of 24 GREYLAG GEESE were the only other notable species seen.

By mid afternoon the sunshine had reached the feeding station at my garden, but despite another hour sat in my shed hide, not a photo was taken, the SPARROWHAWK was busy yet again! looks like i'll have to dismantle my feeders!

I took these Starling shots earlier in the week

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Although not as foggy as yesterday, this morning was still very misty and overcast, with very poor visibility. The gloom cleared around 11:00hrs though and the sun came out for a while, too late for my patch walk unfortunately.

It was an uninspiring visit, with stretches of my walk being totally birdless, few species were found outside the core resident breeding species and not a single winter thrush was seen. The highlight of the walk was seeing two GREY WAGTAILS, one at the Greenhouse Grounds, plus one over at the lakes, which were home to just 7 MALLARDS and 4 MOORHENS.

The Kestrel wasn't seen today either, but the SISKINS and GOLDFINCHES at the Greenhouse Grounds had the SPARROWHAWK to contend with today, a much bigger threat and the flock dispersed pretty rapidly.

Flyovers from a few HERRING GULLS, BLACK HEADED GULLS, and GREYLAG GEESE were seen, plus single LESSER REDPOLL, 4 MEADOW PIPITS, 2 MISTLETHRUSHES, and a trickle of SKYLARKS also went over.


After some lunch, I decided to try and get some garden bird images at my feeders and new bird bath, but during my 2 hour stake out, I had very little opportunity to get any images due to the persistent Sparrowhawk attacks, it made 6 attacks in all, none of them successful. To make things worse it didn't even bother to land on the best perch for me to photograph it, how selfish of it  ;-) , I took a couple of images anyway, what a waste of an afternoon!



Sprawk weaponry!

Monday 26 October 2015

Dense fog cleared by 08:30hrs this morning, leaving a short lived sunny spell, before clouds rolled in.

With the most productive part of the day lost to the fog, I didn't have such of good patch session as yesterday, with little to note out of the ordinary. A KINGFISHER was heard on the lakes, where just 2 MALLARDS and 2 MOORHENS were present, while the adjacent Scrubby Woods was only noteworthy for COAL TIT, BULLFINCH and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER. A mixed feeding flock in the Wet Woods comprised of 2 TREECREEPERS, a NUTHATCH, 2 GOLDCRESTS, a minimum of 6 LONG TAILED TITS, plus 3-4 each of BLUE and GREAT TITS.

Once the fog had lifted I paid a visit to the Greenhouse Grounds, where a friend was busy trying to photograph the SISKINS / GOLDFINCHES feeding in the Alders there, no Redpolls were seen with them today, but a GREEN WOODPECKER visited briefly, the female KESTREL gave good views on the greenhouses again.


I made return visit to the Greenhouse Grounds late in the morning, nothing new was seen though, but this Fox dozed in the long vegetation by the Alder Trees.

I took a shot and left him to his dreams  ;-)

Half a dozen more Long Tailed Tits passed through quickly, I snapped this one as it stopped to call.

I also got the opportunity to photograph one of the male Siskins again.

Sunday 25 October 2015

At last there was a bit of brightness today, although at times the sun was obscured by high cloud.

I did a full patch walk this morning, my 100th of the year, finding a great total of 50 bird species was quite befitting I thought  :-)

'A bit of Brightness' this morning

Sheep at dawn - Migrant Alley

Among the 50 species I recorded today were some bits of interest, for my patch at least, with 4 LITTLE EGRETS flying over, a single over Migrant Alley, and a group of three which flew over the lakes, where on the water today were a pair of CANADA GEESE, 6 MALLARD, a female MANDARIN DUCK and 4 MOORHENS. A CHIFFCHAFF was heard to sing a few phrases from inside the Scrubby Woods, which also had NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, BULLFINCH, COAL TIT, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and at least 8 REDWING present. 

A LITTLE OWL called from the Small Holding area, where there was also a pair of STOCK DOVES and 3 GREEN WOODPECKERS. Small flocks of FIELDFARE and Redwing were frequently watched flying over as I walked my patch, as were a few SKYLARKS and a YELLOWHAMMER, plus quite a few small flocks of WOODPIGEONS passed over throughout the morning.

The Greenhouse Grounds held the SISKIN / GOLDFINCH flock again, but I only heard the one LESSER REDPOLL with them, the female KESTREL put in it's daily appearance there too.

Bird of the day for me came on my sky watch at Migrant Alley, for as well as seeing flyover GREY HERON, GREY WAGTAIL, HERRING GULL, BUZZARD, MISTLETHRUSH,  and MEADOW PIPIT, I also saw a female GOOSANDER (72), this the earliest date I have recorded this species on my patch, one more for the October list!

I ve recorded this as an immature Herring gull, but i'll have to check up on Yellow Legged Gulls later, just to rule that out  :-)

I spent some time this afternoon staking out my new bird bath, but apart from the WREN, only this Goldfinch came down for a drink, not the image I want though, I want to see some bathing action!

Saturday 24 October 2015

Yet another very overcast and gloomy morning, barely getting light at all, but again, it was dry and windless, so not all bad  :-)

My 3 hour patch visit this morning was about as exciting as the weather, with periods of my walk being birdless! The most activity was centered around the Greenhouse Grounds, where, as for a couple of weeks now, the 40-50 strong SISKIN / GOLDFINCH flock and 3 - 4 LESSER REDPOLLS were in the Alder Trees, entertaining the female KESTREL as she sat 50m away on a greenhouse roof.

Small numbers, just one's and two's, of MEADOW PIPIT and SKYLARK flew over, but a bigger flock of FIELDFARE, around 60 birds, flew SE, plus a couple of REDWING flocks of 20-30 birds headed the same way, the only other flyovers were HERRING GULLS and BLACK HEADED GULLS, 43 of the latter came to feed on one of the paddocks at Migrant Alley as I sat sky watching.

A GREY WAGTAIL flew over Bustard Hill as I walked along High House Lane, I watched it fly all the way over to the Greenhouse Grounds.

The lakes were disappointing again, just 6 MALLARD and 4 MOORHEN were present. A walk around the Scrubby Woods, in the hope of finding a Woodcock, only produced GOLDCREST, BULLFINCH and LONG TAILED TIT of the scarcer woodland birds. A NUTHATCH called from the Small Holding Area, where 3 GREEN WOODPECKERS were also seen. A bit of an uninspiring day!

WREN, at my new photo prop, awful light, but a useful excercise to see how things may need to be adjusted  :-)

Back home, early this afternoon, I did some test shots at my new bird bath, which had, at various times, attracted a Goldfinch, a GREENFINCH, a BLUE TIT, a GREAT TIT and a ROBIN, plus this Wren, but none stayed more a few seconds, the birds are ultra wary because of the SPARROWHAWK, which made three unsuccessful garden sorties while I was in my shed / hide. I can already see a few things that will have to be adjusted in the birdbath  :-)

Friday 23 October 2015

Another dreary, gloomy day, but at least it was dry and windless  :-)

I spent 3 hours out on my patch this morning, finding a few bits of interest, but nothing to add to the October or years species lists.

There was a flock of 9 LONG TAILED TITS in the Greenhouse Grounds, one or two BLUE and GREAT TITS were with them, plus a GOLDCREST tagged along. The SISKIN / GOLDFINCH flock were also there, feeding in their favoured Alder Trees, at least 5 LESSER REDPOLL joined them again and the KESTREL watched on from it usual greenhouse perch.

Small skeins of GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE flew over Migrant Alley, as I walked a circuit of the pasture and paddocks, as did the occasional REDWING and FIELDFARE, plus a few single SKYLARKS and a lone YELLOWHAMMER. The BUZZARD was seen on the same fence line as yesterday.

Just 2 MEADOW PIPITS were in the pasture at the Ashes Lane Fields, only 6 MALLARDS and 4 MOORHEN were on the lakes, but a GREY WAGTAIL was nearby on the out buildings, always a good bird to find here. The adjacent Scrubby Woods had a few more Siskin flying about, but more of interest was the lone CHIFFCHAFF that was having an altercation with a WREN. At least 6 BULLFINCH were also a good sighting, but only 1 NUTHATCH, 1 TREECREEPER and 1 COAL TIT were found here today.

I retraced my steps across the Ashes Lane Fields, where I watched a GREY HERON flap slowly over, then shortly after another or the same Buzzard as seen earlier flew into the Wet Woods, alighting right at the very top of the tallest tree, attracting all the JACKDAWS and CARRION CROWS as it did so!

This afternoon I set to making myself a small water feature in my garden, using an old polystyrene box, covered in a plastic refuse sack. It's small, but should give me a chance to get some photo's of the garden regulars as they bath and drink. This depends of course on the SPARROWHAWK making itself scarce, it flew through twice whilst I was working on the bird bath. I just need a bit of sunlight now !

My new photo prop  :-) I still need to add a bit more moss to hide the liner, but already I have had Wren, Blue Tit and Great Tit investigating it.

I took these Great Tit photo's 3 days ago, could do with a bit of more this light.

Hopefully one of these will come in to use the bird bath  :-)

Thursday 22 October 2015

Just a brief flash of sunshine was had this morning, before heavy cloud cover ''gloomed'' things up for the rest of the day.

View of the Autumnal leaves across Migrant Alley

It remained dry and virtually windless, so I undertook a full patch walk, finding 43 species in the 4 and a half hour visit, which is just about average. Nothing new for the months list was found, but most every bird species that lives on my patch was, apart from a Stock Dove and the Owl species.

Highlights of the day were not very 'high' the SISKIN / GOLDFINCH / LESSER REDPOLL flock were again at the Greenhouse Grounds, the female KESTREL looking after them all  :-)  A BUZZARD was on one of the fence rails at Migrant Alley and 2 more were seen soaring over the area later in the walk.

A YELLOWHAMMER flew over the sheep pasture, plus 4 PHEASANTS were a peak count for the month, they were seen in the above paddock with the horse in. A few MEADOW PIPITS were on the Ashes Lane Fields, which were overflown by REDWING and SKYLARK in small flocks of half a dozen or so.

Nothing of note was found on the lakes, I have hopes of a Coot turning up before the end of the month though!

As I said, most of the regular and semi regular species were found during the visit, I just need something a bit different to shake things up a bit here  ;-)

Blog brighteners from my garden again...................

Greenfinch yesterday, CHAFFINCH today  :-)

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Steady drizzle this morning turned into moderate rain, making for a miserable day.

I just about got a ninety minute patch visit in this morning, I started off by visiting the woods and lakes first, hoping for a bit of shelter from the rain, but got soaked anyway. Very little was noted, just MALLARD and MOORHENS on the lakes, a few GOLDCRESTS in the Scrubby Woods, where a LONG TAILED TIT flock was also found.

A few MEADOW PIPITS were heard as I squelched across the long pasture at the Ashes Lane Fields, then, reaching the Greenhouse Grounds I checked the Alder Trees, where the SISKIN, GOLDFINCH and LESSER REDPOLLS fed as usual, not seeming to mind the rain.

I scanned the paddocks and pasture at Migrant Alley, finding a group of HERRING and BLACK HEADED GULLS present, about 20 of each, but as i scanned the Black Headed Gulls for a possible Med Gull, I saw a LESSER BLACK BACKED GULL (71) fly in to join the flock, something at least for the October list on a miserable visit, about time this species got onto the months list! Now can I find 3 more new species for the month to reach the mean total achieved in the previous 5 Octobers ?

Blog brighteners for today come from yesterdays session at my garden feeders.............


Tuesday 20 October 2015

There some good sunny spells this morning and with little wind it felt very pleasant out.

There were fewer birds about this morning, but still enough to keep me enthused :-)  The SISKINS, GOLDFINCHES and REDPOLLS at the Greenhouse Grounds were still in the Alder Trees there and as yesterday they were regularly spooked by the female KESTREL. I checked the dozen or so BLACKBIRDS for the white chest band, but none had one !  A BUZZARD flew low over and went into the Greenhouse Copse, plus SKYLARK, FIELDFARE and REDWING flew over in small numbers, I also noted the first WOODPIGEONS on the move, with four flocks of 30 + birds moving south.

Female Siskin at the Greenhouse Grounds 

This ROBIN was also in the Greenhouse Grounds, really giving some serious song !

As I crossed the Ashes Lane Fields, on my way to the lakes, I flushed up two SNIPE from the pasture, they flew fast and high over the Wet Woods, calling all the while until they were out of sight, a nice bird for my patch. There were also at least 8 MEADOW PIPITS on the pasture too.

The lakes held no surprises today, just the lone CANADA GOOSE, plus the few MALLARDS and MOORHENS, the adjacent Scrubby Woods was quieter than of late, just a few GOLDCRESTS,  BULLFINCH, COAL TIT, NUTHATCH and two GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were of note there today.

I spent some time sky watching, later in the visit, but nothing new for the October list was found, just the regulars of GREYLAG GOOSE, HERRING GULL, BLACK HEADED GULL, a couple of MISTLETHRUSH, a single FIELDFARE, a GREY WAGTAIL and a few more Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and Meadow Pipits.

This afternoon the sun was out, giving some nice Autumnal light, so I set too trying to get some images of the garden birds at my feeders, to fill the Blog Folder, I did get a few tits and Finch images, plus it was good to see a pair of Lesser Redpoll drop in, but the bloody SPARROWHAWK made things difficult...............again!

''Bloody Sprawk''

Just look at the intent in those eyes!  LoL

Monday 19 October 2015

A windless, relatively warm, but dull and overcast morning to start the week.

I decided to have a full patch walk as conditions were favourable, finding 46 bird species in the five hour visit, a good total, as the likes of Greenfinch, Linnet, Long Tailed Tit, Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove and Treecreeper weren't found today ( the GREENFINCHES and SPARROWHAWK were both seen at the garden feeders later in the afternoon though)

Early in the walk, at the Greenhouse Grounds, the regular flock of SISKIN / GOLDFINCH were busy feeding in the Alders and once again there were 4-5 LESSER REDPOLL among them, they were frequently spooked by the presence of the female KESTREL that was in it's usual place on the greenhouses nearby.

A CHIFFCHAFF was calling from the hedgerow that runs along the Pub Field and the adjacent Ashes Lane Fields had 5 MEADOW PIPITS dropping in and out of the pasture. The Wet Woods and Scrubby Woods were not very active, but between them I found NUTHATCH, GOLDCREST, COAL TIT, BULLFINCH, GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS, plus a few more Siskin. The first 2 REDWING of the morning were seen as they flew over the lakes, where just a few MALLARD, MOORHEN and the lone CANADA GOOSE were to be found.

The only PHEASANT of the day was found in the Small Holding area, where 4 JAYS chased about the place, the few old pear trees there have got a little fruit lrft on them, which were being enjoyed by BLUE TITS, GREAT TITS, CHAFFINCHES, DUNNOCKS and a SONGTHRUSH.

The best part of the day was my sky watch, which lasted a little under 2 hours, I watched a couple more flocks of 30+  Redwing flying West, a flock of 20+ FIELDFARE also heading West, a group of 4 MISTLETHRUSHES that dropped down briefly in the Greenhouse Grounds, a GREY HERON, a SWALLOW, 2 BUZZARDS, and a couple of LITTLE EGRETS (70) bringing up the 70th species for the month  :-)  I also saw a pair of MUTE SWANS, two small skeins of GREYLAG GEESE, a few BLACK HEADED and HERRING GULLS and a light passage of SKYLARKS all flying through the area. Not a bad visit at all  :-) 

I'm down to the last 3 images from my blog folder, just a few Goldfinch shots from my garden, taken yesterday.

Sunday 18 October 2015

The weather this morning continued the recent trend of being overcast and dull, but the wind had died away to almost nothing.

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  !

Garden Sprawk!

Saturday 17 October 2015

Another dull, overcast morning, with a cool Northerly breeze, but it was at least dry today.

 A 3hr patch visit brought a taste of both summer and winter bird species today, with a few SWALLOWS seen flying over, a group of 7 being the biggest, these being well past their median average last sighting date of Oct 8th. For the winter species, two flocks of FIELDFARES were seen, one of 14 headed west, while a flock of 10 dropped into the Greenhouse Grounds for a short rest, where the SISKIN and GOLDFINCH flock had been joined by a minimum of 4 LESSER REDPOLL. There was also a flock of 30+ REDWING seen heading West over the Ashes Lane Fields, with at least 4 more seen in the Scrubby Woods.

There was a surprise waiting for me on the main lake this morning, when I found a female TEAL (68) among the 5 MANDARIN DUCKS and 4 MALLARDS that were resting under the tree overhang, a good species to add to the October tally  :-) A KINGFISHER was also seen as it flew low over the water, plus a lone CANADA GOOSE and a few MOORHENS were also seen

There were plenty of JAYS and GREEN WOODPECKERS moving about my patch this morning, while overhead there were passing MEADOW PIPITS, SKYLARKS, more Redpolls and Sikins, plus a GREY HERON and a trio of MISTLETHRUSHES. The female KESTREL and a single BUZZARD were up hunting, the only raptors seen today.

Just the last few images left in my blog folder now............brighter weather is needed!


Friday 16 October 2015

A constant drizzle, under lead grey skies and a cold Northerly wind made for an uninspiring patch visit this morning.

As could be expected in the conditions, passerine birds were mostly in cover and out of view, but a few bits of note were still winkled out. I was surprised to see 7 SWALLOWS drop down from the gloom to feed around the sheep at Migrant Alley, where a couple of MEADOW PIPITS were also seen. On one of the paddocks there were 45 HERRING GULLS, of mixed ages, resting up out of the wind.

A CHIFFCHAFF called, but went unseen at the Greenhouse Grounds, where fewer SISKINS and GOLDFINCHES than recent days fed in the Adlers and on the thistles.

A group of 9 REDWINGS dropped into the Scrubby Woods, while on the main lake the 5 MANDARIN DUCKS were present again. A GREY WAGTAIL was on one of the out buildings adjacent to the lakes.

My return to Migrant Alley for a very chilly sky watch, did at least provide me with one of the species I mentioned in yesterdays post as a possible October addition, a PEREGRINE FALCON (67). I watched as a female chased a WOODPIGEON across Migrant Alley, it took the occasional tuft of feathers off the pigeon as they raced across the gloomy sky, but how the chase ended went unrecorded as they dropped behind the tree line. Just a few more Herring Gulls, BLACK HEADED GULLS and SKYLARKS were the other notable flyovers seen.

I'm running out of images now in all this poor weather, just a few from my garden to show now  ;-(

COLLARED DOVE there were 15 in my garden this afternoon, only briefly though, as the Sprawk soon flushed them off!