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WEATHER: high winds, dull overcast clouds, not pleasant. Rain later.  Temp 15C

After a 4 day break from normality, when we stayed in the New Forest with our grandchildren and family, it was back to the local patch today.

The weather made birding difficult and as a result I have nothing much to report from the Yeo Valley. The best sighting was of a Common Kingfisher. I haven’t seen one for a good 2-3 weeks in the Valley, this one sat on a wire below the road bridge on the lane towards the valley entrance gate, it flew off before I got my scope off my shoulder.

one of my local Robins, looking good after the summer moult.

In the Valley I did see the usual Woodpeckers, both Green and Great Spotted, also Common Buzzard, Jay, Goldfinch, Robin, Greenfinch and the usual Jackdaws.

As I walked back towards home over the top of Rook's Hill I noticed a lot of movement over the far ridge near Barwick, I stood and watched for about 15 minutes as a huge flock of hirundines worked its way south. I counted about 100 House Martins, 20+ Barn Swallows and the same number of Common Swifts, I guess they were all on migration. My local House Martins are still visiting their nest in our building.

Autumn Crocus are flowering on the banks of the Reservoir at Sutton Bingham

3 sleeping Green Sandpipers

a dead Common Shrew - it was still warm when I picked it up!

With the overnight winds I thought that maybe something has been blown in at Sutton Bingham so I made a quick visit to the Reservoir. I saw nothing much, 6 Common Sandpipers and 3 Green Sandpipers, 3 Little Egrets and the usual Grey herons, Great Cormorants and Gulls. I did note over 50 Canada Geese on the west pool and that the number of gulls had increased.