Sunday, 23 October 2016

The weekend started well with a Tawny Owl calling as I lay in bed on saturday,
As I walked in to Kirkins a Mistle thrush went over followed shortly after by my first Lesser Redpoll of the autumn.
Winter thrushes were very evident with plenty of Redwings and Fieldfares going over.
Lots of gulls were also moving with Black Headed,Herring and Common landing on the big field in Swigs and later a Great black-backed was also added.
Down through Kirkins a few flocks of Starlings numbering in the hundreds went over.
Skylarks and Meadow Pipit called as they went by.
In all five Chiffchaffs were seen and it was great to have a Reed Bunting over.
Two Kingfishers were on the lake but little else was on the water save for Mallard, Moorhen and a single Mandarin on the water.
On the Shirrenden side and the local blackbirds alerted me to a Little Owl.
The only raptor seen was a Kestrel but in all 49 species was seen.
Today a single Stonechat was found in the ditch at the end of the lake,
Todays Stonechat

Lesser black-backed Gull was added plus five Buzzards were seen this afternoon.
Interestingly a Common Darter was seen down at the lake and two Red Admirals were in the garden.
Red Admiral in the garden.


Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The week ending 16th was punctuated with a few more Fieldfare and Redwings arriving and probably the last House martins and Swallows departing.
Friday 14th produced a skein of Brent Geese(102) going over in a southerly direction.
About 160 Fieldfare were seen with just 4 Redwings. Other winter arrivals included 4 Siskins and good numbers of Meadow pipits.
Saturday 15th started on a brilliant note with a GREAT WHITE EGRET over at first light which I watched fly over the valley towards  Castle Hill before it veered south west.
I met up with Wez on the farm track who had found a Stonechat on top of the middle hedge.
Stonechat on the middle hedge.

It was good to have a Reed bunting on the days list and some Skylarks over.
Sunday I found a much awaited Yellowhammer in the hedge in Gibbet lane and heard two Water Rails down at the lake.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

It was a great couple of hours on the patch this morning with lots of birds about.
Summer migrants were still in evidence with at least 10 Chiffchaffs seen and Swallows and House Martins trickling through to the north east.
In contrast winter visitors have began to arrive with the first Fieldfares of the autumn plus a few flocks of Siskins and a large flock of Meadow Pipits.
Ten Skylarks landed on the field in front of the farm cottages and the flock of Linnets was still in the orchard where two Yellowhammers flew over.
It was good to see a Lesser spotted woodpecker which flew down the lake.
Three raptors were seen in the shape of Kestrel, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk.
In the afternoon a walk down to the lake produced a Brambling in the orchard.

Little opportunity to get any photos today but I did see a Migrant Hawker which reminded I took some pictures of dragonflies during the summer so I've attached them.

Migrant Hawker
Brown Hawker
Golden-ringed Dragonfly. (One of four present in August)

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

October started with about 60 House martins and a dozen Swallows seen on the 1st of the month which were going south in the morning.The only other summer migrants were a single Blackcap and around 20 Chiffchaffs.
Also of note were two Siskins.
In the afternoon there was a mass movement of House martins and Swallows which were going west after the rain had passed.
On Sunday 2nd there were plenty of gulls on the large field in Swigs with 30 Black-headed, 22 Herring, 1 Common and a Lesser black-back with 27 Stock Doves there also.
Forty two species were seen and it was great to find a Marsh Tit on the path next to lake cottage.there were still plenty of Chiffchaffs about and Meadow Pipits totalled seventeen.
A walk after work on Monday 3rd produced the goods when a Stonechat (101) was found on the middle hedge at Hononton Farm,then a second appeared then a third and  fourth. Amazingly there were 3 males and a female flitting off the hedge catching insects.
Unfortunately I had no camera with me but a phone call to Wez had him driving down armed with his to take some shots.

Stonechats- Thanks to Wez.

I carried on my walk down to the lake once I had my fill of chats and was pleased to see a Reed Warbler in the lakeside reeds.