Sunday, 8 November 2009

November update

Have not had a chance to do much birding recently-last weekend was a non starter thanks to a chest infection. About the only thing of note was a late Red Admiral in the garden on the 2nd.
Yesterday I decided to get some fresh air and went down to Amwell. It was one of those lovely sunny late autumnal days that made it a great morning just to be out.
The birding was fairly standard-the usual mix of duck, geese and gulls loafing around. The Pintail were not present, though they had been seen earlier in the week. Two Snipe on the main island were the only waders apart from the inevitable flocks of Lapwing. The thermals eventually got going and several Sparrowhawks, Kestrel and Buzzard took to the air. At one point, all the Lapwing and gulls went up, in a manner suggesting a Peregrine, but we never managed to spot it, and its doubtful if the female Sparrowhawk nearby would have provoked such a reaction.
One female Stonechat was present. So far it seems that there are none wintering at Amwell, but presumably one or two moving around the Lea Valley are visiting from time to time.
I went down to Hollycross with Phil Ball and talked about his holiday to Cape Verde-not the best trip with a broken ankle, but he had a pretty good time. We saw the three female Red Crested Pochard, and he pointed out the phenomenal amount of Plums/gages of varying colours remaining in the trees. A lot of the trees and bushes have lost their leaves now, but in places the colour is still very good.
I was wondering about the lack of Bittern sightings recently, but last night heard that Bill Last had seen one in the afternoon, so it looks like one has finally turned up for the winter.

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