As exam revision began to dominate my October, it was largely spent revising and some spare time was mostly from the garden, doing some more vismigging. It was frustrating, as the first time I could've been getting out in arguably the best time of year for birds was prevented. Anyhow, here are some highlights from the month, that I can limit to one blog post.
1. 7th October - The year's fun palaces event at Morden Hall Park saw me volunteering with the event, helping with the nature walks and activities, as well as taking photos, from 9am to 5:30pm. With such a long day on patch there was always going to be some success, and I had a pleasurable half an hour in a break with around 9 Chiffchaff, that were following a mixed flock and taking turns at having a drink in a natural pool between logs on the river. During the nature walks, we didn't see anything exotic but introduced some visitors to common species of wildlife. The 2nd walk of the day was successful as I picked up 2 of the resident Kingfishers, that were seen briefly. Throughout the day Grey Wagtails continued to move SW, and 4 other than 2 locals had gone high over by the evening. The highlight however was undoubtedly the first wader I've had at Morden, and an unexpected one. A double call from a Golden Plover that flew over was pleasing to finish the successful day.
2. 10th October - School one day had a Chiffchaff calling at the entrance, while the first Common Gulls of the season had returned, and there was a nice 1st-winter among them. More frustratingly was a Brambling, that had gone over about 100m from my house on the way to school. A garden tick that stayed away - for a short time only.
3. 13th October - After a crap few days at school, my brain was in a bad place and needed either cricket or quality birding. I got neither, but I did get some other quality. I went into our conservatory at around 22:15 to collect something from the printer when I heard an odd sound from outside. I don't know what came over me but I went back to the kitchen, before going back to check. I had my phone, and recorded the call on it as a 30sec sound recording, and it was clearly the call of a Tawny Owl - a bird I'd been thinking of getting as a garden bird for a long, long time. Though I thought it was a 'kee-wicking' female, it could possibly be a juvenile. Either way, very pleasing!
4. 20th October - A short vismig had obvious highlights. 2 Rook went over very high S, and I got a dodgy picture to prove my bird. 3 Redwing, 7 Linnet and 2 Sparrowhawk also came over. But I was pleased to get my garden Brambling that circled then just disappeared into the sun. Looks as if it will be a good winter for them.
5. 21st October - As the weather slowly became colder, the rain stayed away and every morning was clear yet cold. I got up early one Sunday to go to Morden Hall, and soon after arriving and talking to a friendly South African family a stunning male Reed Bunting hopped up onto a tree and began calling. It flew near me, and with great light I managed some half-decent pictures for a change. Golden hour is definitely in the early morning! Also at Morden that day was a patch tick Skylark N, 3 Siskin, 2 Water Rail, Kingfisher, Redwing and a possible Crossbill(s) that flew over. One call wasn't enough for me to get an ID.
6. 24th October - When I saw a notification at the start of my half term that Nick Rutter had found MHP's first Yellow-browed Warbler, revision continued until about 2pm, where I set off to have a search for it. In short I failed, with a possible call near a mixed flock likely to be the same bird, though a 2.5hr search was unsuccessful. However, a large group of around 180 thrushes (largely Fieldfare) was pleasing, as was a Brambling briefly on the North Meadow.
7. 29th October - The first week of half term revision finished with another vismig, where 74 Redwing NW, 12 Siskin, C Buzzard, Sprawk and multiple gulls were all to note.
|Morden Hall Park|
|Linnet - recordshot|
|Brambling record shot|
|Great Spotted Woodpecker|
|no idea - seen at dusk from my garden window|