The weather has become much more autumnal and at first I though that I was going to find a fairly empty Bockhill this morning. Once I was tuned in, and ignoring the strong breeze, the calls of Siskins could be heard as they moving overhead. Like Redpolls one or two Siskins can sound like a flock, and in the windy conditions I contented myself with listening. A few Swallows and House Martins were on the move, beating into the wind, and one flock of at least six Crossbills flew over noisily as I walked round the Paddock. There was little to be seen at ground level and I walked on towards Farm Wood.
In the hedgerow along the Droveway birds were moving and at the farm there seemed to be quite a sizable mixed group feeding. As usual in these groups Blue Tits are prominent, as were a couple of Great Tits.Long-tailed Tits normally travel in gangs at this time of year and they seemed to be part of the larger congregation.
I could hear quite a few crests as I went round, and I concentrated hard to try and pick out a Firecrest, but I was unsuccessful. I wonder how long it will be before the sound of a Goldcrest calling disappears from my range? Mostly the Goldcrest remained hidden in the depths of the hedge, their illuminating go faster stripe giving away their presence.I always think that their little moustache gives an otherwise pretty face a rather cross look.
If the number of Chiffchaffs in the Paddock had seemed down, then it was because they had concentrated their numbers in the wood. I seemed to have checked out dozens of them, and listened to a whole variety of of hooeets and many odd squeaks, but again no sight or sound of a Yellow-browed, surely the one by Richards garden in Kingsdown won't be the only local one this year?
The Chaffinch is another bird with it's number now building up. They seemed to be everywhere, to often giving reasonable impressions of Flycatchers, or something more interesting. Their numbers have also increased in the garden, meaning a trip to the bird food merchants will soon be needed.
This afternoon I took a walk along the River Dour. No prizes for what this picture was nearly of!