Sunday, 5 October 2014


I've been a bit lax in posting of late, but there have been a few nice birds over the past 10 days.

Firstly, the patch has joined in in the bumper Stonechat passage seen recently, which is lovely to see, as Stonechats once quite easy to see in the county on passage and in the winter have been rather scarce over the past couple of years.  The hills to the north have had flocks of 19, 12 and 12 respectively, with other birds seen at other sites.  My patch had 3 birds on the 1st, when I found 2 males and a female type just to the north of Emmett's farm using a small patch of teasels and farm machinery to perch on.

A Yellow Wagtail over calling at the same time was nice.

On the 30th, a juvenile Peregrine was around the north side of the lake for a while and a couple of Ravens shared the same air space momentarily.  Snipe continue to climb in numbers, though are often hard to see on the overgrown spit, I often see them flying in from the south early in the day.  There were 11 on the 30th and 16 yesterday (4th) - hopefully a Jack will join them soon!  The only other waders seen during this period were 2 Green Sandpipers on the NE side of the spit on the 1st, though they flew into the works bay shortly after being seen.

Wildfowl have been thin on the ground so far this autumn.  Apart from the hundreds of Greylags, including several farmyard crosses and the lone Bar-headed Goose, a standard fixture during the winter months, Teal have been the most numerous of the scarcer ducks, but only between 10 and 20 so far; Shoveler have peaked at 10 on the 1st and just a single Wigeon on the 4th.  The usual pair of Black Swans are still ever present, which is not surprising, as they are pinioned.  I've no idea who placed them here, as they must have been by someone, but it has been suggested that they came from the manor house - they first appeared with a juvenile in the summer of 2013.

The male Firecrest continues to roam the area along the concrete road and is often seen near the crossroads with its Goldcrest friend.  I'm hoping that it stays to winter and can get onto my 2015 year list!  Otherwise, a late Willow Warbler on the 1st and a handful of Chiffchaffs are the only warblers I've seen.  There was a notable increase in Goldcrest numbers last week and there are calling birds all around the lake, certainly well into double figures of birds.

Last night, I finally visited the patch at dusk to add Barn Owl to the year list.  There have apparently been two pairs on site this summer, though I don't know how successful they have been.  When it was almost too dark to see, a bird screeched overhead and was joined by another near one of the nest boxes and I watched two white blobs wheeling about for a while until they both disappeared.

This morning, once the mist had cleared, the only interesting bird on the lake was a 1st winter Yellow-legged Gull that I watched flying in from the west.  It settled on the spit with the BHG flock and was one of only two LWHG on site.

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