The autumn and winter months are busy times for me, with 12 RSPB local group presentations and where possible, I try to fit in some birding before I arrive at the venue. With talks booked for Stevenage, East Grinstead, Hemel Hempstead, Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory, Aylesbury and Thanet there would be opportunities to visit sites such as Tring, Oare, Dungeness etc. All good stuff.
The moth trap was surprisingly busy on the 1st, with this frosted orange being a new for year secies. Also new were blairs shoulder knot and black rustic.
On the 7th I was booked for a talk at Sandwich Bay Bid Observatory and so headed off for a day at Dungeness before making my way round to Sandwich after dusk. A much calmer day and one that gave year listers in the shape of barnacle goose and black necked grebe. Good birds were hard to come by, but still, as always, a pleasure to be there.Also, shown here, a great white egret which is becoming Dungeness' speciality bird. One that I believe will continue to spread across the south of England over the next 5 years.
A local walk around the village on the last day of the month didn't give up anything other than a small flock of siskin over the golf course, as well as the regular residents. Sunset photo of Oare Marshes, near Faversham.
On the 2nd I popped out for a quick trip around Amwell. A first year male smew was present, but many birds moved off as the reed cutter boat was noisily in action.
I finished the year with 2 walks, one to the west of the parish on the 29th in bright sunlight and heavy frost where this kestrel gave a flypast and then one to the east of the parish on the 30th in constant drizzle where little was noted until I returned home to find a female bullfinch in the garden. Not a common garden visitor, so great to finish the year on.