Monday 30 November 2015

It was dark, overcast and windy, with spits of rain in the air this morning, much the same as the previous 29 days of this month!

I was hopeful of squeezing one more new species onto the November list this morning, but the four hour visit didn't turn up anything, so the months tally ends on 67, not too bad, as it is only 3 off the record tally and is the third best November tally out of fourteen, it also equals the mean average species total for the previous 5 years. The mean average number of November species for the full fourteen years is 61, while the combined fourteen Novembers have produced a species total of 90, the latest addition to that were the BRENT GEESE that were found on the 4th.

Anyway, todays interest was again mainly focused on the Greenhouse Grounds, where there were still a score or more each of GREENFINCH and CHAFFINCH, which were joined once again by the BRAMBLING, but there were far fewer LESSER REDPOLL, with half a dozen at most. GOLDFINCH and SISKIN were few as well, with just 2 of the former and 6 of the latter being seen. Other species of note there today were the CHIFFCHAFF, the GREY WAGTAIL, 4 YELLOWHAMMER and the female KESTREL, if I can get this lot to stay for tomorrow it would kick off December species list very nicely!

I just about heard the call of MEADOW PIPITS above the wind as I crossed the Ashes Lane Field to get to the Lakes, where the only bird of note today was the COOT, now staying into it's second week, very exciting for me!

The Scrubby Woods and the Wet Woods were given a thorough looking through, where despite the noise of the wind through the trees I manged to find most of the scarcer woodland birds like COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, BULLFINCH, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER and JAY.

Winter thrushes were noted only as flyovers and they were few, with 8 FIELDFARE in singles or pairs, and one flock of 7 REDWING.

Once again in the poor conditions, no decent photo's were possible, so it's back to the 'blog folder', which has little in now  :-(

The Lesser Redpolls may have dispersed somewhat from the Greenhouse Grounds, but they are now regular in my garden, 5 were feeding here today.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Heavy cloud cover accompanied by spits of rain on strong SW wind made for a difficult patch visit this morning.

The three hours out didn't produce any new species for the month or year list, however there were a few nice patch species recorded.  It was good to see a CHIFFCHAFF at the Greenhouse Grounds, more than likely it was the one I had recorded twice earlier in the month at the Ashes Lane Fields. There was also a GREY WAGTAIL present, plus the feeding finch flock had increased in size, it was difficult to asses numbers of individual species, but minimums of 30 CHAFFINCH and 20 GREENFINCH were busy on the sunflower hearts I have provided, they were joined by 8-10 LESSER REDPOLL, with another 20 or so out on the weedy part of the grounds. Top bird was a BRAMBLING, probably the one seen here on the 25th. There were very few GOLDFINCH this morning, just 4 were seen, and only 6 SISKINS were in the Alders, a single YELLOWHAMMER dropped in to join the Redpolls on the weedy area. The female KESTREL had returned to her greenhouse roof after her days absence yesterday.

Walking across the Ashes Lane Field I saw 4 MEADOW PIPITS, although there are probably more out there, plus 16 FIELDFARE flew over, the only winter thrushes of the visit.

The wind made it difficult to pick out much in the Scrubby Woods, but a pair of BULLFINCH and a TREECREEPER were found, plus a flock of LONG TAILED TITS with 2 GOLDCREST among them of note. A check of the lakes revealed that the COOT was present for it's seventh consecutive day, plus the KINGFISHER was seen again, a GREY HERON dropped in to visit too  :-)

Back home at my garden feeding station, I had a visit from 5 REDPOLLS and a SISKIN, very nice  :-)

I'll have to delve into the 'blog folder' for todays images, no chance of any photo's on patch this morning!

Garden Nuthatch, always a favourite  :-)

Saturday 28 November 2015

Some welcome sunshine was had this morning, however, by 11:00hrs a strengthening SW wind brought cloud cover, in turn bringing showers for the afternoon.

In the decent weather I made the 10th and final full patch walk for the month, in which a pleasing total of 46 bird species were recorded, this without the normally daily Kestrel, plus the regularly seen Bullfinch, Redwing, or any Geese being found.

There seemed to a small decrease in LESSER REDPOLL numbers at the Greenhouse Grounds, maybe 20 were present, there were certainly fewer SISKINS though, just 3 were seen, while GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH, and CHAFFINCH appeared about the same, with a dozen or so of each. The GREY WAGTAIL was present around the grounds again, then as I photographed the Goldfinch below, I heard the call of RING NECKED PARAKEETS (67) and looked up to see 3 flyover, one more for the November species tally, which is now the third best from fourteen  :-)


I thought it looked a bit sickly at first, but as I got nearer it flew off strongly, must have been nodding off in the warm sunshine!

I spread some more seen on the pallet at the Greenhouse Grounds, where 8 Lesser Redpoll were the first customers, a YELLOWHAMMER was nearby but didn't take to the seed. Out on the adjacent sheep pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley there were 30-40 BLACK HEADED GULLS, but only a few ROOKS, JACKDAWS, WOODPIGEON and STARLING were with them today.

Redpoll enjoying the sunflower hearts  :-)

More were awaiting in the hedgerow

The Ashes Lane Fields provided MEADOW PIPIT for the days list, whilst the Scrubby Woods, Wet Woods and Small Holding area gave me most of what I expected, the best being LONG TAILED TIT, COAL TIT, TREECREEPER, NUTHATCH, JAY, STOCK DOVE, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, JAY, MISTLETHRUSH, FIELDFARE and GOLDCREST, one of which stayed still long enough for a photo. The COOT was still at the lakes, as was the KINGFISHER, but nothing more noteworthy was there today.


There were 8 seen today, but probably more were present, although unseen.

SKYLARK and BUZZARD were seen going over as I walked along High House Lane, but birds of the day for me were the 6 LAPWING that flew low over the adjacent Bustard Hill :-)

Friday 27 November 2015

A strengthening SW wind blew yet more damp, dreary and drizzly weather across the area this morning.

I headed out to Greenhouse Grounds to re-stock the hedgerow and wooden pallet with sunflower hearts first thing this morning, the female KESTREL looked down at me from one of the greenhouses as I did so, and the mixed finch flock of GOLDFINCH, GREENFINCH, CHAFFINCH, SISKIN and LESSER REDPOLL were flying about the place, where I also noted at least 3 YELLOWHAMMER, but I've not seen them on the supplied seed yet. PIED WAGTAIL, GREY WAGTAIL, BLACKBIRD, SONGTHRUSH, WREN, DUNNOCK, ROBIN and a GOLDCREST were also around the area.

At least 100 BLACK HEADED GULLS were out on the adjacent sheep pasture at Migrant Alley, they were joined by half a dozen HERRING GULLS at one point, plus a lone COMMON GULL. Around 30-40 STARLINGS also fed on the pasture, associating with the mixed Corvid flock which was mostly of ROOKS and JACKDAWS.

I soon headed off to the lakes, passing through the Ashes lane Fields as I went, here I saw 6 MEADOW PIPIT fly up, an increase on recent days and a SKYLARK trilled as it flew low over. A commotion in an Apple tree, some 50 meters distant in a large garden, turned out to be a a couple of CARRION CROWS and a couple of MAGPIES mobbing a BUZZARD, in the end they drove it off into the nearby Wet Woods.

At the lakes, my hopes for a duck species other than MALLARD went unfulfilled, 14 of those were present, along with a scattering of MOORHENS, but on the bright side, the COOT was still there and the KINGFISHER was again giving good but distant views.

Two flocks of REDWING both containing 12 -15 birds dropped into the Scrubby Woods as I walked through, joining four FIELDFARE that were already on a Hawthorne tree. At least another 6 Goldcrests were also present, mixing with a LONG TAILED TIT flock, which also had NUTHATCH and TREECREEPER tagging along with them as well as the usual BLUE and GREAT TITS. A JAY,  a pair of BULLFINCH, plus both GREAT SPOTTED and GREEN WOODPECKERS all showed up again today, but no sign of a Coal Tit.

Back to the 'Blog Folder' for todays images, not much left now!


Still got a few of the Redpoll images left  LoL!

Thursday 26 November 2015

A grey, misty and overcast morning, with virtually no wind, gave way to a few sunny periods by 10:30hrs.

I spent 3 hours out on my patch, mostly around the Greenhouse grounds and Migrant Alley, but did make an effort to visit the lakes just in case  :-)

There wasn't too much to get excited about, with no additions to the months list, however at least the COOT remains on the lakes, where the KINGFISHER was once again active too. Most of the regular common woodland species were found as I hung around the lake area fruitlessly hoping for something to drop onto the water. GOLDCREST numbers seem to be increasing, three different pairs were seen, plus 4 more were hanging around with a LONG TAILED TIT flock, which also had a TREECREEPER and a NUTHATCH with them. GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, GREEN WOODPECKER, BULLFINCH, JAY, REDWING, MISTLETHRUSH and FIELDFARE were the best of the rest of my sightings.

At the Greenhouses the LESSER REDPOLLS were again the most numerous species, but small numbers of CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH and SISKIN were also about, the only YELLOWHAMMER seen there today was a flyover, but no Linnets were found. The female KESTREL had returned to her position and the GREY WAGTAIL was also about. It was good to see 5 SONGTHRUSHES in the area too.

A scan out over Migrant Alley was had, where a few constantly flushed BLACK HEADED GULLS tried to feed and one or two MEADOW PIPITS moved around the sheep pasture. A large skein of 65 GREYLAG GEESE flew NE, plus 2 CORMORANTS flew over, headed North.

I took a few pics of the finches feeding on the sunflower hearts that I put along the hedgerow and on an old wooden pallet, thanks go to a blog reading friend, who has sent along 50 KG of seed, I should now be able to provide supplementary feeding until the end of the year at least  :-)

Chaffinch getting stuck in to the sunflower hearts!

Another waits his turn

A dozen or so Lesser Redpoll didn't hang about, I watched one feeding for ages, how can they consume so much!

Up above, in the hedge, a couple of BLACKBIRDS picked the last of the Hawthorne Berries

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Showery rain moved into the area just around dawn this morning, making for another dreary morning, later in the afternoon a few brighter spells were had.

A rainbow heralded the approach of rain  

Very disappointing, as the weather forecast was for sunshine......wrong again!

I dodged most of the showers as I made my way round for a full patch walk, which yielded a very good tally of  48 bird species, the best for me of which, was a stunning male BRAMBLING (104,66) my first on patch since Oct. 2013. This was found among the CHAFFINCHES at the Greenhouse Grounds, where around 30 LESSER REDPOLLS, 6 GREENFINCHES, 10 GOLDFINCHES, 5 SISKIN, a single LINNET, 2 YELLOWHAMMERS and a GREY WAGTAIL were also seen of note, however, the female Kestrel was nowhere to be found this morning.

Three Gull species were out on the sheep pasture and paddocks of Migrant Alley, those being HERRING, BLACK HEADED and COMMON GULL, also, a small flock of 30-40 STARLINGS were present, plus the odd MEADOW PIPIT popped up.

The Pub Field and Ashes Lane Fields didn't add any species to my day list, few birds were on the ''improved'' silage fields and battered hedges there today, just BLACKBIRDS, DUNNOCKS, WRENS, ROBINS a flyover PIED WAGTAIL and a scattering of MAGPIES were seen.

Two separate flock s of LONG TAILED TITS were seen as I checked the Wet Woods then the Scrubby Wood, with them were the loosely associating species of COAL TIT, BLUE TIT, GREAT TIT, GOLDCREST, NUTHATCH and GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, also the likes of BULLFINCH, SONGTHRUSH, MISTLETHRUSH, REDWING, FIELDFARE, JAY and STOCK dove were all recorded, the only expected species that was not found was a Treecreeper.

A BUZZARD flew low over the lakes, where the COOT stayed into it's third day, a KINGFISHER was heard, then seen as it flew low over the surface of the main lake, MALLARDS and MOORHENS were the only other birds on water.

There were 4 GREEN WOODPECKERS chasing about the Small Holding area, where there was a concentration of Blue and Great Tits that had found some kind of food source.

Completing my circuit, taking the route along High House Lane and back to the Greenhouse Grounds, I added flyover SKYLARK, COLLARED DOVE, and HOUSE SPARROW to end the species daylist.

The addition of Brambling to the year list takes the 2015 tally to 104, which is the 8th best yearly total out of the 14 years of recording, but the worse since 2007  :-(  I cant really expect to add much else, maybe a flyover Golden Plover or a Duck species such as Shoveler or Wigeon will turn up on the lakes. The months total moves on to 66 though, which is just 4 behind the record tally achieved  last year and is the joint 3rd best November total, equal with 2008 and 2011. The likes of Peregrine, Mandarin Duck, Snipe and Ring Necked Parakeet could well turn up yet this month, but time is running out  :-)

No bird images in the poor weather today, so I'll have plunder the ''blog folder'' for some, yet more Redpoll i'm afraid and a couple of nice Blue Tits  :-)

Lesser Redpoll

Blue Tit

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Rain fell throughout the morning, sometimes quite heavy, but there was little to no wind and it had turned considerably warmer again.

I only spent a couple of hours out in the miserable conditions, I firstly re stocked the sunflower hearts over by the Greenhouse Grounds, where there were still 20-30 LESSER REDPOLLS feeding in the weedy patch, half dozen then moved onto my sunflower hearts, they were joined by a dozen each of GREENFINCH and CHAFFINCH, but very few GOLDFINCH were about and just 4 SISKIN were seen in the Alder trees, I didn't find any Linnet or YELLOWHAMMER there today, although a single of the latter flew over as I moved off. The female KESTREL assumed its position on the greenhouse roof  :-)

There were just 2 MEADOW PIPITS seen at the Ashes Lane Fields as I passed through on the way to the lakes, where I was surprised to see the COOT was still in residence, a KINGFISHER brightened up proceedings, but nothing else of note was on the water.

I headed home via the Wet Woods and Small Holding area, noting NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, BULLFINCH, at least 4 GOLDRESTS and a flock of LONG TAILED TITS. A dozen REDWING dropped into the Small Holding area, none were seen on yesterdays full patch walk.

I spent a little time watching my garden feeders this afternoon, but very little was coming in to feed, even the Sprawk stayed away! Top bird to visit though was a GREEN WOODPECKER for just the second time this year, moving this Novembers garden list on to a record breaking 27  :-)

Ive still got a few images in my blog folder, mostly of Redpolls, but here's a few finch shots I took at the Greenhouse Grounds at the weekend, plus a nice ROBIN that was hiding nearby in the hedgerow  :-)




Monday 23 November 2015

There was a slight frost this morning, when some bright skies were enjoyed for a short while.

I undertook another full patch walk today, recording 44 species during the 4 and a half hour visit, which was 4 less than yesterday, however I found 4 species that weren't on yesterdays list, those being a TREECREEPER, seen in the Wet Woods, a CHIFFCHAFF that was in the Ashes Lane Fields, (probably the one seen there on the 20th), a YELLOWHAMMER that was with the mixed feeding flock of SISKIN, LESSER REDPOLL, GREENFINCH, GOLDFINCH and CHAFFINCH at the Greenhouse Grounds, and last but by no means least a COOT (65), yes! At last something has turned up on the lakes! This is the first Coot recorded on the lakes since April  :-) There was also a GREY HERON visiting.

Other highlights included the two raptor species of KESTREL and BUZZARD, plus a GREY WAGTAIL, a couple of MEADOW PIPITS, flyovers from FIELDFARE and SKYLARK, and a singing MISTLETHRUSH.

I took a few images this morning, again, the Redpolls featured, I even had five in my garden this morning, providing me with yet more images for future posts! It's proving a good year for Redpolls  :-)

They have begun to find the sunflower hearts that I put out at the Greenhouse Grounds

They allowed quite a close approach, not minding me as they scoffed !

Not sure how long I can afford to keep the feeding up though!

This Meadow Pipit was at the Greenhouse Grounds too, having a good scratch!

The cocky Sprawk turned up as I photographed the Redpolls at my garden feeders, not what I wanted  :-(

Sunday 22 November 2015

There was a moderate frost this morning, but the clear skies lasted for just half an hour after sunrise, when cloud rolled in, this in turn cleared for a while around midday, to leave some much wanted sunshine!

I did a full patch walk this morning, in which I recorded a good tally of 48 bird species, two of those were new for the November list, LAPWING (63), of which eleven flew over Bustard Hill and LITTLE EGRET (64) a single of which flew over the Small Holding area, these take this months bird species total to 64, the joint 6th best November tally of the fourteen recorded.

I took a snap shot of one of the Lapwings as it flew over  :-)

Other flyovers, from CORMORANT, GREY HERON, FIELDFARE, REDWING, and a skein of 6 CANADA GEESE helped the day list greatly. 


The lakes were poor again for birds, the water having just a few MALLARDS and MOORHENS as usual. A walk around the Pub Field and Ashes Lane Field gave me MEADOW PIPIT and SONGTHRUSH for the day list, as well as a BUZZARD that flew into the Wet Woods.

Migrant Alley was hosting the BLACK HEADED GULL flock again, around 60 were seen today, they were joined at times by a few HERRING GULLS, but apart from a small number of STARLINGS and the crowd of mixed Corvids, nothing else was seen out on the sheep pasture and paddocks.

The busiest habitat once again was the Greenhouse Grounds, were the mixed feeding flock of LESSER REDPOLL, SISKIN, CHAFFINCH, GREENFINCH and LINNET were added to the days list, along with the likes of BLACKBIRD, ROBIN, DUNNOCK, PIED WAGTAIL, GREY WAGTAIL, WREN, KESTREL, GREAT TIT, BLUE TIT and PHEASANT.

I took quite a few images today, mostly of the of Lesser Redpolls, so I've got something to put into the blog folder for future blog posts! Here's a few photo's of the Redpolls and Siskins, in the first red glow of sunrise........

The Siskin looked nice in the first light too