An 8.00 am start along the Ash valley, up to Bush Wood and back along the Ridge Footpath this morning. Good numbers of birds, with the now regular 1000's of crows, jackdaws, rooks and wood pigeons. Also increased numbers of the winter thrushes, redwing and fieldfare.
However, the highlight was recording the first siskins of the year. A flyover party, low heading east from Acremore Steet. Suspect the numbers of these small, flocking Scandinavian finches to increase as the year ends. The numbers of winter arrivals is indicating a bumper year for such, with a good possibility of waxwings making an appearance.
Skylarks appeared to be on an easterly movement, with double figures being recorded overhead. A sparrow hawk was observed being mobbed by jackdaws, several kestrels hovered and a common buzzard was noted over the Ridge from the Much Hadham road. 2 Black headed gulls and 3 lesser black backed gulls wove their way north east, maybe towards Stansted airport lagoons In all, 35 species were recorded, with the strangest being a female blackcap, observed in the hedgerow along the ridge. The vast majority of this species migrate south for the winter, with only a handful risking staying put. Chiffchaffs have also started to remain as residents, more so than blackcaps, so a good record.
Photos depict a silhouetted and somewhat confused green woodpecker, a redwing showing how it came to be named so, some autumn colours and a heavily moulting goldfinch