Sunday was another lovely Autumn morning so I set out to walk a circuit of my patch. Things started well with the apparent return of the House Sparrow population noted. On my first look at Ladies Pool there was a Lesser Black Backed Gull and more importantly a Cormorant ! This was my 1st non flyover Cormorant on the patch.
Walking away from the Pool I noticed a Red Admiral basking high up in a tree, I had seen Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell yesterday too in Shropshire.
I continued to pick off the expected bird species, A Raven kronked over, then 4 Skylarks performed well and showed beautifully against the blue sky.A Nuthatch, tapped loudly at the entrance to Barnet Brook Wood.
Emerging onto the Stubble field the south facing set aside area was chuffing with inverts, mainly hoverflies but a few butterflies began to show. 2 Chiffchaffs chased each other through the treeline. I then came to an area of Ivy berries that held 3 Red Admirals and 5 Comma's...a splendid sight in the Sunday morning sunshine, it was now pretty warm and they flitted around the adjacent vegetation.
|Basking Red Admiral|
I was both surprised and pleased to see a few remaining Swallows lingering prior to their winter vacation, around the Kennels. A good group of pied wagtails occupied the site near the paddocks , which were pretty quite. Things livened up again as I approached Wood Lane, with a couple of Mistle Thrushes making a welcome appearance, followed by a pair of Bullfinches.
I swung back around to Ladies Pool again, which was busier with wild fowl. Scanning around I picked up a female Goosander, my earliest autumn date by a good month !
|Female Goosander ( v long range Digital shot)|
At the far end of the pool was a group of ducks that I could not be definite about. They certainly were not Mallards, I decided to pop back later with my Scope. As I crossed the causeway some further invert activity caught my eye. Firstly a still pristine looking Migrant Hawker nosed around me before leading me to a Common Darter, basking on the edge of the pool. These were certainly late welcome sightings.
A little while later I returned with my scope. The Goosander took flight just as I arrived, but the mystery ducks at the far end proved to be 7 eclipse Wigeon (4 males) ..a patch lifer !... I had clocked up just short of 40 bird species ( without seeing Kestrel, Sprawk,Linnet,Song Thrush, Yammer or Dunnock) .. add in a patch lifer and those inverts .. a super Sunday stroll.