29th Oct. The highlight of today’s outing was my first ever patch sighting (if somewhat brief) of a Merlin. A female bird found hunting low over the field before disappearing behind tall grasses and the hedge. This was near to where Sam had found a Merlin earlier in the year. It has to be one of my best patch sightings of the year. So after a long wait, rather like buses Merlins come in threes, with two sightings on Saturday and this one today.
I’d started my walk by visiting the lake. The sun shone across the water which made viewing from some areas very difficult. I found three female Goosanders and the one long staying male, along with two Goldeneye and a Little Grebe. The wind had cleared the water of birds, so I didn’t spend time walking the length of the lake but instead made towards the village, passing fifty Canada Geese and two Greylag Geese.
Old faithful...the long staying Goosander.
The walk to and along the wagon-ways was generally quiet apart from the sound of the flocks of Jackdaw and the distant metro trains and traffic on the A19. I did find one Red Admiral Butterfly. The quietness was broken by the sighting of the Merlin and that alone would have made the long walk worthwhile. Shortly afterwards a flock of fifteen Fieldfare flew west. There was little sign of much else until I reached the small flash where only Mallard and Moorhen were found. A lone Mistle Thrush fed in the field nearby.
Autumnal Red Admiral Butterfly
As I drew near to the end of my circular walk some colour was added by the showing of a male Bullfinch and then Song Thrush, Blackird and tits were found visiting a feeding station. I had earlier spotted one Goldfinch and heard many more. The light was already going as I turned the corner and made for home.