The Bird Blog - November 2023



17th November

We have reached mid-November, the cold wet weather continues and the day light hours are getting increasingly shorter. The bird life in the arboretum however remains very active; Blue, Long Tailed and Great Tits continue to gather in small flocks flitting from tree to tree in search of food with a small gathering of Blackbirds also seen squabbling as they feasted on the berries in one of the trees near the entrance to the arboretum.

All this small bird activity did not go unnoticed, and I enjoyed good views of a male Sparrow Hawk as it glided effortlessly through the arboretum hoping to ambush a small bird for its next meal! At last, I have seen a Redwing. A solitary bird feeding on the berries in a Hawthorn tree near the ponds. Hopefully more will arrive as the weather turns gets colder and we have a chance to see more of these Thrushes from Scandinavia in the arboretum.

In addition, time spent watching the ponds was worthwhile as I had good views of a Grey Wagtail flicking it's tail up and down as it danced across the vegetation around the water's edge in search of insects. Also seen moving rather more discretely through the vegetation was a Moorhen and on one occasion the larger of the two ponds had three Mallard Ducks resting on it, heads tucked under their wings.

Scanning the small flocks of Goldfinch that frequent the treetops of the arboretum. I noticed they have been joined by Chaffinch and Greenfinch. Hopefully as the weather gets colder these mixed flock of Finches may contain Brambling again another winter visitor from Scandinavia.

Finally whilst walking home I briefly caught sight of the flock of Ring Necked Parakeets that frequent south Knighton - a glimpse of something more an exotic to end an afternoon's birdwatching as the light faded on a grey November day.

Phil Taylor