30th Oct. One of the positive changes I have been lucky enough to witness during my bird watching career is the recovery of some raptor species. I would hope that all who have even a passing interest in birds and wildlife would appreciate this as a positive indicator. I’m of course fully aware that some folk do not share that view and only yesterday I was talking to someone who spoke of the Sparrowhawk nuisance. I’m attending a talk soon on the plight of the Hen Harrier and I know before I step into the lecture theatre that I’m going to hear the often repeated depressing information about Hen Harriers in England. So progress does remain limited. In my opinion it always will, until more and more effort is made by organisations to involve more and more people. As I’ve said on more than one occasion most folk are never going to be serious bird watchers, ornithologists or twitchers, but many of them can be enthused by birds if the effort is put in and it’s that direction that much of the effort should go. Hence my on going attempts to involve less serious bird watchers. I do know that some of people I have come across, see birding in general as involving a clique at times. Their word, not mine, but I can understand where they are coming from. Many hobbies and interests often do seem to fall into the same trap.
Happily I have noticed quite a number of raptors on patch recently. Just a couple of days ago Sam reported a Peregrine Falcon hunting over Killingworth Lake and today within seconds of leaving my front door had a Sparrowhawk being mobbed by crows above my head.
When I reached the lake I found the smaller area taken over by Canada Geese. There were over one hundred on the lake today. The flock of Greylag Geese, seen a few days ago, appears to have just been passing through and only the family of five Greylag Geese remain. I was half expecting them to leave with the larger flock. The pair of Great Crested Grebe were no where to be seen and also may now have left for the winter. We had a bit of a false start recently when they disappeared only to return again. I think their second and rather late brood has kept them back longer than usual whilst they built up resources. Three Little Grebe remain. The fourth one may just have been hidden. There are still only two Goosanders (one of them the long stayer) and two Goldeneye on the lake at present, whilst Common Gull numbers appear not to have built up as yet.