Once again we had bright sun and warm air for our meeting and there was a spring feel to the air, but the profusion of berries (rosehips, sloes, woody nightshade, haws) and leaf colours confirmed it to be autumn. We had two sightings that were a first for the ‘our patch group’ although both have been seen close by elsewhere: the first were three red-legged partridges in a field at Creeksea and the second was golden plover. There were in fact a group of around 25 birds feeding at the river’s edge, which we believed to be golden plovers but they flew off before we could get close enough to positively identify them. One bird didn’t fly with the group, and that we did identify as a golden plover.
Compared to the same month last year the wild flower varieties were much fewer as were the numbers of birds and insects recorded. The lack of flowers was possibly due to the recent mowing of much of the area. It was pleasing to see pied wagtails searching for food on the margins of the lake at Creeksea – the first birds we have seen there except for a few gulls.
The reed bed area still attracts a lot of birds although mostly we could hear them chattering in the surrounding vegetation rather than see them.
The next ‘Our Patch’ outing is on Saturday 12th November 14.00 – Marina Car Park
Birds: (numbers in brackets indicate the highest number seen in one sighting)
Crow 5 (3), Magpie 11 (8), Wood Pigeon 27 (8), Red-legged Partridge 3 (3), Robin 9 (3), Goldfinch 2 (1), Long-tailed Tit 6 (5), Blue Tit 2 (2), Starlings 6 (1), Pied Wagtail 10 (7), Black-headed Gull 3 (1), Herring Gull 2 (1), Egret 2 (2), Lapwing 29 (12), Little Grebe 4 (4), Mallard 5 (3), Moorhen 1, Oystercatcher 2 (2), Cormorant 1, Redshank 6 (3)
Flowers: Bristly Ox-tongue, Mallow, Dandelion, Yarrow, White Clover, Field Poppy, Ragwort, Oxford Ragwort, Hedge Bindweed, Nipplewort, Spear Thistle.
Other: 10-spot Ladybird, Crane Fly, Buff-tailed Bumble Bee,