Friday, 23 October 2009

23rd October 2009

Reckoning that yesterday's Rock Pipit had roosted near Engine Pool, I got up early to visit the lakes to see whether it was still there. Reaching the causeway, I looked at the bit of shore that the bird had favoured and, yes, a Rock Pipit was there! I'm pretty sure it was the same bird, seeing as it was somewhat confiding like yesterday (must've been no more than 8 metres from me at one point) and favoured the same area, but the bird was already foraging by the time I got there at c. 7:20 am so I didn't see it leave its roost. Spent ages watching it, but did look away sometimes; just 13 Redwings were seen flying over, as well as 2 Rooks, plus a Meadow Pipit landed on the causeway briefly, giving me an opportunity to compare two pipit species. Unfortunately the Rock Pipit left the lakes at c. 9:15 am, due (I'm afraid) to one of the funniest things I've ever seen two birds do: the Rock Pipit was creeping around some small boulders and creeped up one side of a boulder, next to which was a feral duck on the other side; it scared the duck as it came into view, causing the duck to take flight, which in turn made the pipit take flight and off it went, heading west over Engine Pool. I don't know why the duck was frightened by the sudden appearance of a much smaller bird near it.

Watching the Rock Pipit leave the lakes, I noticed it pass 3 hirundines so moved to get a closer view of them - whatever they were they'd be a good record for this time of year. All 3 were Swallows, flying over Engine Pool and Terry's Pool. A Kingfisher was also seen at Engine Pool. At Terry's Pool, was pleased to finally see 2+ Siskins (still haven't seen Fieldfare this autumn though); also saw 2 Mute Swans, a Goldcrest, a Treecreeper and a Nuthatch there. At Windmill Pool, saw a Water Rail in the usual place, plus 4 Teals and the White-cheeked Pintail. I also heard a Chiffchaff singing at the scrubland south of Windmill Pool, and saw a Red Admiral there. Sadly there was still no sign of the Rock Pipit along the causeway/dam just before I left after midday.

Coming along Cleobury Lane on my way home, had a Common Pheasant, 7 Stock Doves and 3 Rooks in a field.

M.P. Griffiths

P.S. Rock Pipit is the 99th species I've ticked at Earlswood; I'm hoping the 100th will be a rarity :-)

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