A complete switch in the weather today, a calm night interrupted by an increasing southerly wind, which by dawn had become moderate in strength with accompanying light rain and warmer temperatures. It feels as though the chances of a decent bird this autumn are slipping away. The weather is set to fall into a familiar wet & westerly vain as the date gets ever later.
Short eared Owl at Belle Tout.
Goldcrest numbers have fluctuated all week but rose noticeably this morning with c50 in the Birling and Belle Tout area. Many feeding in low cover and mallow as well as in the mature sycamores, they were accompanied by 3 Firecrest and c6 Chiffchaff. 8 late Swallow hawked around the cottages still managing to find insects in the mizzle – always nice to see Swallows in November. There was no overhead movement of birds this morning.
A brief return at lunch found the wood still hosting decent numbers of Goldcrest. Whilst there I flushed a Short eared Owl from underfoot on the slopes, such a shame you never see these birds until you’re on top of them. It headed off towards Cornish Farm. It marks my first here this autumn, my first since April and I’m only aware of 1 or 2 others.