The morning started with a good mix of people turning up, it was nice to be fully booked, with some new faces and quite a few who had joined us before. There was light drizzle as I got out of the car but that's pretty much the last time I remember noticing it. It was a slow start, mainly due to it being slightly cloudy, it took a while for the birds to wake up!
When they did, we had a good mix, there were plenty of YELLOWHAMMERS by the restaurant and a few finches were flying around, we had several flocks of REDPOLL and SISKIN, the most Redpolls I've seen so far this autumn. Several MISTLE THRUSHES were being vocal throughout the morning but we only saw 1 SONG THRUSH. The lake was quiet apart from a short burst of calling from an unseen KINGFISHER and a CHIFFCHAFF. The woods had several small mixed flocks and we added MARSH TIT, COAL TIT, LONG TAILED TIT, TREECREEPER, GOLDCREST and NUTHATCH. 2 JAYS flapped lazily across park field and one of many BULLFINCHES heard, only just gave itself up with a brief flight view. After the break we headed for the fields, adding good numbers of SKYLARKS, LINNETS and a few MEADOW PIPITS. Birds of prey were few and far between, with 1 KESTREL and 1 BUZZARD being our only return. During the morning we had several small flocks of SWALLOWS and MARTINS going over but I was hoping for the first winter thrushes which didn't materialise. A total of 44 species was a good total after a slowish start on what was a thoroughly enjoyable morning. That's the last guided walk this year but they will start again in March 2012.
At home, Pete the warden took down a tree for me this afternoon and I heard my first 2 Redwings of the autumn go over :-)