Short days continue to minimise birding opportunities however you never know when something new will come your way if you keep eyes and ears open. Ears are particularly important with birds and this morning the laughing call or ‘yaffle’ alerted me to a green woodpecker in the centre of the village. These are rarely seen away from fields and park lands locally but perhaps some Autumn fare has brought them in.
I have taken the limited late afternoon opportunities to walk the local patch before the birds go to roost. The nights quickly sweep in and many local birds are tucked up and quiet before I get out. The most noticeable recently have been the larger birds and the smallest. Pheasants have been noticeable in the local fields and tend to roost later in trees and high hedges but perhaps more surprising are the incessant high pitched calls of the Goldcrest.
The goldcrest is Britain’s smallest bird and perhaps this is why it works so late to grab every opportunity to get an insect meal before bed. Recent mild winters have seen numbers climb nationally and locally and they are increased at this time of year by influxes from Europe. They favour evergreen trees and are extremely mobile and therefore difficult to photograph as many photos I have of empty yew trees will confirm.
Recent trips out have also seen growing numbers of wildfowl but so far only mallards are gracing the local lakes along with cormorants and moorhens. Today was rounded off with strong winds and an Autumn sunset allowing a lone buzzard to slowly drift and almost hover across the fields searching for a late meal and a place to roost. Not a bad end to a day.